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AAA Music | 14 July 2020

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| On 29, Nov 2011

Monument Valley is the musical world of London-born Ned Younger. Inspired by classic 1950s rock and roll, Postcard-era indie-pop and the modern poets of hip hop, Younger weaves all his musical touchstones into a passion for timeless story-telling and song-writing. His first release, the Tongues EP is due November 28 on Tritone/PIAS UK Records.

Despite the expansive moniker, it is under the Monument Valley alias that Younger has created an introspective and articulate EP. The seeds of this project had been unwittingly sewn some time ago, during the accumulation of an extensive collection of strangers’ ‘lost’ photographs, which Younger had gradually amassed from markets and car boot sales. It was whilst surveying the hundreds of anonymous faces of these ‘John Doe’ albums that Younger was struck by the thought which spawned Tongues- to narrate the imagined stories behind these images, and thus to articulate the silent and the unfamiliar.

Fittingly, the Tongues release format reflects its distinctive origins- the EP will be accompanied by a beautiful book comprised of lyrics to several of Younger’s ‘imagined’ songs, alongside the original photographs which inspired them and accompanying illustrations by Mikey Smith.

The nameless faces of the book segue into the deftly imagined protagonists of EP tracks ‘Valentine’s Park Pt 2’ and ‘Dear John Letters’, which seem to resonate with a narrative ability not dissimilar to the tendencies made so compelling by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Chris Isaak and Elliott Smith. Elsewhere, the guitar intricacy of lead track ‘Round and Round’ displays an idiosyncratic meld of a childhood spent hooked into Buddy Holly records, and later tempered with the sardonic poetry of Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian. Improbably, somewhere between the former and latter once lay a teenage flirtation with UK Garage (‘I very much wanted to be a rude boy at the time, but I came out the other side’), the surviving ‘Flowers’ vinyl now standing testament to a stalled vocation as a nomadic house-party DJ.

Younger however, is by no means defined or diminished by his tastes; ‘I don’t feel I’m a good enough musician to be one who regurgitates their influences. It always ends up really warped anyway.’ A blow to the legacy of UK Garage perhaps, but invaluable for an indelible musical snapshot into the creative world of an incredibly captivating and personal perfomer.

For more information please contact: Lou // // 07860 464789

October 7th – Newcastle Riverside w/Benjamin Francis Leftwich

October 8th – The Tunnels, Aberdeen w/BFL

October 9th – Oran Mor, Glasgow w/BFL

October 10th – Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh w/BFL

October 14th – Brudenell, Leeds w/BFL

October 15th – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester w/BFL

October 16th – Leiceister Musician w/BFL

October 17th – Cambridge University aru w/BFW

October 18th – Oxford O2 Academy w/BFW

October 21st – SWN Festival, Cardiff

November 18th – Crossing Borders Festival, the Hague, Holland w/ Josh T Pearson

November 19th – crossing borders festival, antwerp, belgium

November 22nd – The Social, 5 Little Portland St, london, W1W 7JD (EP / book launch)