ABOUT Katie Eastburn
Katie Eastburn is the vocalist for the band Young People. She grew up mostly in Nashville (with stints in Hawaii and Colorado), before migrating to San Francisco to choreograph dance and produce musicals. There she met guitarist Jeff Rosenberg of the notorious, now-defunt West Coast noise-rock duo Pink and Brown. The two completed a dance score together, then split to Berlin for awhile, then returned to California, this time LA, where they teamed with percussionist Jarrett Silberman formerly of Uphill Gardeners and co-founder of The Smell, Los Angeles’s stinkiest and best spot for experimental music.
Eastburn and Rosenberg had originally intended to write and perform country songs, but once the trio was in place, Young People evolved into something richer and more complicated. The band’s self-titled 2002 debut on 5 Rue Christine offered a somber sound that struck familiar chords but was altogether different from anything else around. Certainly, John Cale and Sonic Youth and original post-punk were influences, but so too were old spirituals and work songs, early century rural folk, military marches, and musical theater. Eastburn’s untrained but rich and evocative voice was key to the band’s originality and appeal, its flatness and unique phrasing unlocking all sorts of emotions.
Young People moved again in early 2003, this time to Brooklyn, but the new locale didn’t affect their productivity as they continued performing regularly and returned with a second album, this time on the excellent Dim Mak that fall. While some reviewers took its title, War Prayers, as an explicit remark on contemporary politics, such an interpretation misses the album’s poetry and kooky classicism.
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