Tuesday, 28 June 2011


On a scale of one to chill, Young Waves is CHILL; I'm so lethargically blissful after listening to the noises Ryan Mandelbaum's made, that I'm definitely going to do fuck all now...I blame him but love him for this. I can hear a lot of Explosions in the Sky and Teen Daze influences in his most recent e.p, We Grew Up, but that might just be me, but whatever it is, it works really well and is a confident, self-assured effort from the Canadian born artist. Young Waves has the ability to sound melancholic but simultaneously optimistic, what an emotional tease. If I have a flaw, it is that this e.p ends at all, leaves me hooked...and to me that's an excellent flaw.

First off, where are you in the world right now and what're you working on?

Right now, I’m in my apartment in Toronto, happy to be able to eat food and drink and sing again. For the past two weeks I’ve had mono, and my tonsils had swollen up like crazy. It was really shitty, but it’s nice to have the energy to make music once again. * I actually just started working on a new track last night * which should be uploaded in the next few days, so keep posted.

Could you give a brief Young Waves history?

Two years ago, during an admittedly very lonely point in my life, I felt like I was lacking any sort of identity. I realised I’d never created anything substantial in my entire life, and started wondering what people would have to say about me after I was gone. “Ryan Mandelbaum: He smoked pot and read comicbooks”. I put aside a couple hundred bucks and bought a handheld 4 track. collected some old keyboards and guitars from my parents and grandparents homes, and sorta just hit the record button and started fucking around. I guess it’s not really all that fascinating, and maybe I should glorify it a bit, but in all honesty Young Waves is just the result of a really sad, frustrated kid playing around with things he doesn’t understand. “All of a sudden I make music”. And it feels really, really fucking good.

Who did you grow up listening to?

I’ve gone through a lot of different phases with music growing up, so it’s kind of hard to wrap it up in a neat little sentence, but I’ll try to keep it brief; I started off listening to a lot of punk rock as a little kid, since that’s what my “super cool” oldest brother Adam was listening to at the time, as well as a good of Michael Jackson and The Beatles. Then came the whole classic rock/jazz phase just before high school where I had an unhealthy obsession with King Crimson and Miles Davis. High school I discovered Velvet Underground, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, Sun Kil Moon, the Microphones, Talk Talk, My Bloody Valentine ; music you could get lost in for entire seasons. Than a few years ago, I started really getting into a lot of ambient/experimental stuff; Eluvium, Stars of the Lid, Fennesz, Benoit Pioulard, Foxes in Fiction, a lot of the Type Records stuff...Shit, I’m just gonna stop myself there. I have the inability to be concise apparently.

Tell us a bit about the most recent song you've written.

The last song I recorded, Courtyard, from my new EP “We Grew Up” tested my patience more than any recording I had ever done. The entire thing was recorded with a loop pedal and 4 track, and needless to say, the process was fucking meticulous. Loops were deleted, entire tracks were distorted, editing/post production was not an option, and to make matters a billion times worse, my multi track doesn’t even have an undo/redo button. Hurts my head to think about.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever written a song about?

I wrote a song about a manic depressive teenager who’s obsessed with lego.

Are there any specific themes or sources of inspiration you find yourself revisiting often when making music?

Being young, getting old, being free, getting lost.

What would you say was the perfect environment or situation to listen to your music in?

In your bedroom by yourself at 4am. That’s the environment it’s created in, so why not. Also, I’ve been told it’s “good comedown music”. I’m gonna pretend I don’t know what that means since my mom will probably read this thing hahaha

Where would you love to tour?

Somewhere quiet and pretty. Maybe one day I’ll do a tour of the Appalachian Mountains and tell no one.

Finally, what's next for Young Waves, future plans and such?

As of right now, just focusing on becoming better, and discovering what it is I want to create. There are so many different sounds I want to explore, and I haven’t even scratched the surface. This is still so new to me; I’m just barely starting to fall into myself as a musician, so for now it’s all about exploration and experience. At this point in time, that just seems way more important to me than gaining lots of fans and playing tons of shows.

Due to my shockingly bad multi-tasking, this needs a few updates.

*Ryan's mono was back in May, when he answered these questions, so yay for June healthiness.

*The new track mentioned was 'Cliffdiver' which is now up and available.

You can download Young Waves material here at BANDCAMP