Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Renaissance”?
K – The idea came from the director Tiago Ribeiro (Bold Creative), we´ve been working with him for quite a while now and we love his inputs so we gave him carte blanche! Because the track has a dance feel to it, we decided it should be interpreted more physically so we got in touch with the team at DSection Creative who introduced us to this beautiful young actress called Kelly Bailey who loved the song and definitely had the moves so it was a match made in heaven.
Also because the lyrics talk about how fast paced our lives are nowadays and how everybody feels entitled to everything, we felt there was a clear contrast between the mood of the song, which is more uplifting, and what it talks about and we wanted to include that in the video.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
K – Not an event in particular but definitely the times we live in.
E – I think it’s a generational thing. As we grow older we come to understand how the world works a little better, and I think we are at an age where a lot of people are disappointed with some of the uglier parts of it and the fact that there isn’t much they can do to change them, so they kind of just zone out. Sometimes it’s good to have someone make you snap out of it and start feeling again.
How was the film experience?
K – It was a long day of shooting but a great one! We knew the team already, except for Kelly, so we knew we were in for a great experience.
The wonderful set is the house where the main offices of AORP (The portuguese association of Jewelers and watch-makers) are situated and they were kind enough to let us use it as we pleased, we couldn´t have been luckier!
We got to play with different sets and looks all in one place and for the first time we were not on camera, which was something we wanted from the beginning. This time we got to only be on the other side of the lens just overlooking, helping out and soaking it all in.
We also got to work with a choreographer (Marta Viana) who gave Kelly some really cool ideas on how to move around the house and take advantage of the surroundings, in the end Kelly´s moves intertwine perfectly with the mood of the song and the house itself.
The single comes off your new album Highway Moon – why did you choose to re-release the material instead of working on a new one?
E – We are still planning to release our next album this year. The thing is, the first international release of Highway Moon was a self-release on our part, and we felt we weren’t able to give it the proper attention outside of our home-country. This time around we’re doing it with Station 5 and hopefully it’ll reach more people who will enjoy it but didn’t hear about it when it first came out.
Can fans expect any new things, new additions or something like that?
E – Yeah, we’re including our new single Renaissance, and we´ve added another new song called Sunbird, which will be the second single for this re-edition as well as a live version of Infinite Stare, which we recorded for a TV Show at an incredible old school studio here in Porto called at Sá da Bandeira Studios.
How was the recording and writing process?
K – We co-wrote the lyrics, sometimes together in the same room, other times separately depending on how each one felt about the song in question.
The musical composition was on Ed, obviously I gave my inputs but Ed was the mastermind behind it.
Our main goal was to have as much space as possible for the vocals, we like to play with textures and because my voice has a lot of air, it was interesting to take advantage of that musically. Usually we build the songs around the guitar but this time Ed wanted to try a different approach so we chose the synths to be the starting point of the album´s musical concept and due to that, the recording process was a slightly different. Basically we explored the synths while on studio, usually the instrumentals and how we want them to sound are decided before going in to the studio, but for Highway Moon we ended up doing a little bit of composing while recording at the same time!
What role does Portugal play in your music?
K – Even though we´re from Portugal, we grew up listening to anglo-saxon music and we also write in english so yeah, we believe Portugal has a role in what we do just not the main one! We still live in Portugal and our daily life here is a part of what we are, our personalities, how we get along with others and that, we think, can be reflected in our music or in our way of working it.
E – In case you haven’t visited it yet, Portugal is one of the nicest places you can choose to live. The people are amazing, it’s bursting with creativity and amazing talent, food is great, weather is great, awesome beaches a short drive away from anywhere in the country and to top it all, it’s a relatively cheap place to live. So to us, it’s the perfect place to call home. We’ve managed to build a career in music here all on our own, but always felt our music would appeal to people in other places of the world, and it’s turning out to be true! Not just us by the way, musicians from Portugal of all genres are getting bigger abroad each passing day and it’s starting to become an essential point of passage for bands from everywhere in the world. Some relatively well know musicians even chose to relocate here in these past years. So basically Portugal is the HQ we will be conquering the world from 😉
What aspect of love and doubt did you get to explore on this album?
E – The whole album thematically works as a sort or inner monologue that we all have while we’re experiencing relationships. It’s funny because for all the means of communication we have nowadays from normal discourse to e-mails, messaging, etc, everything we say is always a slight variation of what goes in our mind, so you could say we’re never speaking the absolute truth in terms of what we’re feeling. In a way, the songs on the album are about that slight divergence between what you say and what you mean, what you let go and what you hold back.
What made you want to explore this particular themes?
K – We met as teenagers and at that point of our lives, love and doubt basically ruled our everyday… We also started playing together around that time, so it was inevitable for us to write about this type of themes, we´re very nostalgic and we think that comes through our music.
E – It wasn’t really a decision… we basically started writing the songs and suddenly figured out that the music and the production were leading us into that sort of mood. It was only later that we realized that all the songs were focusing on those sorts of issues.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
K – Cinema, painting, our present lives and the present day, everything we love to do, the context we grew up in and how it influences us on a daily basis.
E – I love the way that certain sounds, chords, colours or words can cause a physical effect on you just from the emotional charge that they carry. To me that’s the whole point of art, it has to make me feel something. I think that’s the main compass that guides whatever happens with our songs and lyrics, does it warrant an emotional response? If it does we’re on the right path.
Any plans to hit the road?
K – We love to be on tour, but for now we´re focused on getting Highway Moon´s re-edition out and we´re also working on the new album, so as soon as we finish these two chapters we´ll definitely be hitting the road 🙂
E – Truth is we haven’t really stopped playing shows ever since the first EP came out. Even now, in the middle of composing and releasing this record we are still doing shows here in Portugal and abroad, but the dates are spaced between so we can manage both. As soon as we’re done with the studio part of things we’ll try to have a more focused tour.
What else is happening next in Best Youth’s world?
K – We´re currently working on our next album and, if all goes well, it will come out by the end of this year. And with a new album, new videos and maybe a special surprise we’re working on with the Director of the Renaissance video… we’ll have to wait and see!