Youngr was first brought to our attention through a a video on Facebook; a simple sponsored post showing Dario Darnell performing a live bootleg of Temper Trap’s ‘Sweet Disposition’ at a festival. Surrounded by an array of instruments he slowly built the track up, layer by layer, to a soaring crescendo. That’s all it took to capture our interest so much that we went down to Oslo in Hackney on a Thursday night to check him out.
As Youngr walked onto the stage to a rapturous applause and began his set, it soon became apparent why he chose to promote himself using a song that wasn’t his. It isn’t that his songs are inherently bad, there’s just nothing that makes them stand out. There’s no problem with following the generic formula for a pop song if you can pull it off well, but with Youngr, it fell short. He followed the recipe to the letter, but the result was bland.
To Youngr’s credit, a lot of what he did was very impressive. There were a few tracks in which he played every instrument and pieced it together with loops, which is no easy task. But for most of the performance, Youngr was accompanied by a drummer and guitarist. There were also times where none of the three musicians were playing, and everything was coming from clips loaded onto a laptop. It was songs such as these which sent the crowds to their phones, scrolling through Twitter and swiping on Tinder.
Youngr has since posted a live video from the night (see below) which makes the performance seem fantastic. But, tellingly, it has been overdubbed with pre-recorded, studio quality audio. The moral of this story? Don’t believe everything you see on the internet.
Photos by Dan Hess.