Young Guv: Guv I

With over 10 years of releasing music, Young Guv has covered every genre of music, from infectious pop to punk. Young Guv is the alter ego of Ben Cook, who is a man of many talents. He is an actor, a writer, a producer and musician, a with that many professions, its no wonder that his music is as varied as his pursuits. He has been a ghost-writer for Taylor Swift and Katy Perry as well as being part of hardcore Canadian bands like Fucked Up and No Warning. His musical spectrum is vast and varied and with his new release Guv I, Young Guv explores the wide landscape of musical possibility.

Guv I is the first volume in a two-part LP series and is dedicated to the city that afforded him so much opportunity, Toronto. He says that GUV I, “a little ode to the place that blessed me such love and inspiration to create so many songs I felt comfortable sharing with everyone.”

Even though “Every Flower I See” starts off with a drumbeat that is at a peak high school garage band level, it is actually a song about new relationships, longing and love. The romance heavy visuals of flowers and other lovey-dovey things contrast with the brash backing and fuzzy production. There is a frankness and an honesty to the lyrics that is sensitive and sweet, while Young Guv plays behind it with a heightened sense of disregard.

The shortest track on the LP “Exceptionally Ordinary” leans on influences from The Cure and includes subtle hints of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Its jangling guitar and fuzzy vocals, it is the music that is allowed to speak on this track. It is the kind of song that is added to a mixtape as a musical interlude and not an integral track. It separates the rest of the album from the final track “A Boring Story”.

With achievements like Young Guv has, it is difficult to imagine ever having a boring story, but “A Boring Story” is a departure from the other fuzzy pop tracks. It leads with a pouncing motif that grabs your attention. Such a definitive start is interrupted by the beautiful vocal harmonics that lay beautifully over a vaguely classical guitar, making this track anything but boring.

If you are, like me, a music lover who goes straight for the melody, Young Guv’s musical attempts will pass you by. His music is catchy, punk-pop and infectious, however, it is his self-reflective lyrics that make these warm melodies incredibly poignant. GUV I is an example of twinkling pop that makes you long for the second part of this two-part LP series to drop.

Rating: 8.7/10