Album Review: Youth Fountain – Letters To Our Former Selves

The world needs more great emo records, and this is one of them. 

Vacouver based emo duo Youth Fountain are releasing their highly anticipated debut full-length album, Letters To Our Former Selves, this Friday via Pure Noise Records.

Letters to Our Former Selves is a record that holds pieces of the person I have been over the past decade. Within each track, there are impactful moments & experiences captured through lyricism – touching on topics about self-identity issues, isolation, relationships & mental health problems,” guitarist Tyler Zanon shares. “I hope it means something to you all.”

Since the official release of the two track EP Grinding Teeth back in May 2017, both members have continued writing, recording and producing new music in anticipation of the release of their full length debut album­ along side playing a handful of shows across western Canada. The band released their self-titled Pure Noise Records debut EP in July 2018 and hit the road the following fall, touring the full US and cross Canada in support of the record.

Kicking off with the thirty second intro of Helpless. And if those thirty seconds is all you hear of this record, it’ll give you a perfect idea of what Letters To Our Former Selves is all about. Launching straight into the title track after, the duo keeps the intensity going with pleading vocals and old school pop-punk energy to die for.

Rose Coloured Glass talks about breaking out of the cycle of a loveless relationship laced over ripping guitars. Much of the record will hit home for a lot of people as the band talk about failed relationships and struggles with mental health. Moody for example takes on the topic of emotional abuse and self-doubt. “So did I do something wrong or was it all my fault, I’ve been put down all my life and lost all hope / Don’t tell me again how these hardships we face are all for the best.” the band sing in the first verse. If you listen closely it might just strike a chord but yet the screams of the chorus feel wonderfully cathartic.

Recent single Ache has a beautiful opening of guitar picking that’ll somehow automatically feel very nostalgic. About the track guitarist Tyler Zanon says: “Our track Ache being the most barebones, stripped down songs on the album acts as an interlude/half way point on the record… The topics we wrote about on Ache tend to sum up what the whole record is about – the ongoing struggle with mental illness for most of my adolescent life, finding a sense of relief through writing music & lyrics about those inner issues and attempting to burry those parts of who I’ve been.”

One of the other singles released off Letters To Our Former Selves is Deadlocked. “Our single Deadlocked is one of the more honest & blunt songs off the record. Feelings revolving around battling with depression and anxiety – It was written a few years back during a super dark place I was in while growing up / coming to terms with my adolescence. Sometimes you feel trapped in those negative spaces and there’s nothing anyone can do to fix that but yourself.” says guitarist Tyler Zanon of the single.

The brutally honest track about getting stuck in feelings of anxiety and depression, showcases the band’s intertwining of up-beat pop-punk melodies and desperate emo vocals and we’re loving it.

The one minute anthem that is Furlough, much like Helpless, feels like a short teaser of what more if to come from the band and if the anthemic and slightly cinematic feel is the way Youth Fountain are going, then we say bring it on. From that short high, we’re right back in the corner sobbing to Lucid, it’s raging drums are fueling the intensity.

Finishing off with the title track of their debut EP Grinding Teeth and the energetic Blooms, the Vancouver duo signs off their debut LP with a bang. What’s for sure is that we Letters To Our Former Selves will resonate with Youth Fountain’s fanbase and win them a whole bunch of new fans.