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Young the Giant

Young the Giant

California quintet Young the Giant draws upon its members' international roots to forge a worldly blend of summery indie pop and anthemic stadium rock. Originally operating under the moniker the Jakes, the band dove head first into the mainstream in 2010 with the release of their debut LP (as Young the Giant), which included the RIAA gold-certified hits "My Body" and "Cough Syrup." Subsequent offerings like Mind Over Matter and Home of the Strange continued to hone their eclectic but accessible brand of modern rock. Both albums cracked the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 and helped make them both radio and festival faves, with high-profile appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza, among others. They hit the Top Ten of the Rock Albums chart with 2018's Mirror Master and returned in 2022 with a four-part Acts EP series that formed their fifth album, American Bollywood.

Young the Giant began making broad-based indie rock in Irvine, California, where bandmates Sameer Gadhia (vocals), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass), and François Comtois (drummer) all met each other during high school. Following graduation, the guys ditched their respective bands and formed their own outfit. Although they all left Orange County shortly thereafter to attend different colleges, they continued making music together, eventually deciding to put school on hold and focus on the group instead. The decision wasn't in vain; by early 2009, they were opening for Kings of Leon and playing shows at South by Southwest. Several months later, they were signed to Roadrunner Records.

The Jakes changed their name in January 2010 and began working on an album with producer Joe Chiccarelli, tracking most of the songs at Sunset Sound Studios in Los Angeles. Featuring cameos by My Morning Jacket's Bo Koster and Jellyfish's Roger Manning, the self-titled debut was released digitally later that year via Roadrunner. Worldwide promotion of the album continued well into 2011, as it took until the summer to make it physically available in most territories. Numerous TV appearances -- most notably a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards show -- helped to propel the album and accompanying singles "My Body" and "Cough Syrup" into the U.S., U.K., Dutch, and Italian charts.

Sessions for a second full-length began with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen in summer 2013. The resulting album, the heavier Mind Over Matter, arrived in January 2014, and saw the group make the jump to Warner subsidiary Fueled by Ramen. The album fared well enough to reach number seven on Billboard's Top 200, and Young the Giant toured heavily in support of it over the following two years. In April 2016, they debuted the lead single "Amerika," which appeared on their third effort, Home of the Strange, a substantive collection of songs that ruminated on the group's immigrant history and American identity as a whole. It hit number 12 on the Billboard 200. 2018 saw the release of the singles "Simplify" and "Superposition," which landed on their fourth set, Mirror Master, which cracked the Top Ten of the Rock Albums chart.

In July 2022, they debuted the EP Act 1: Origins, the first of four installments that would form their fifth album, American Bollywood. Adding Acts titled Exile, Battle, and Denouement, the ambitious project told the "multi-generational saga of the American immigrant" through the lens of Gadhia's own South Asian heritage. The set included singles "Wake Up" and the U.S. Alternative Top 20 hit "The Walk Home." ~ Andrew Leahey

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