Five Right Now: The Haunted Youth

The Haunted Youth’s debut, Dawn Of The Freak, is full of ghostly, shoegazing soundscapes and post-punk infused wanderings. Songwriter Joachim Liebens layers instrumentation to bury you under the weight of his meanings, before trembling guitars provide rescue breaths before the next immersion. 

In a slight change to the usual format, we spoke to the young Belgian about the five acts he has on constant rotation just now.

Soft Cult

Probably my favourite band right now. I discovered them on the Reeperbahn line up, but I didn’t get the chance to see them live. The way they blend all the things I love about the nineties and leave out all the things I hate about it. They write the catchiest lyrics that feel relevant and personal. And even though I’m a boy it’s important that young girls nowadays can be inspired by songs that are about giving them an empowering perspective on themselves as young women. The things they talk about and the way they say it, is really important for young girls to hear.


The day after my oldest dog died, I was in a place emotionally that was absolutely killing me. It was the first time I lost someone close to me and watched them die in my arms, feeling them turn lifeless and cold. I was traumatised by the experience and somehow a friend showed me the album Peisithanatos by Nyktalgia. In a mental state where I would normally do something reckless, it really got me through one of the darkest weeks of my life, just listening to the melodies, the screams, the raw emotion, It really speaks for itself.


I’ve known this band for a while now, and it’s already some of my favourite music coming out today. The whole modern day emo aesthetic he’s got going in his songs, the whole sound just reminds me of myself, seems to understand things I feel in a way that’s hard to put into words. It’s just a soundtrack to who I was as a kid, and who I am right now. I don’t even know what most of the lyrics say yet it’s a soundtrack to my life in so many ways.


I’ve always been a huge Nirvana fan, but lately I started getting into Courtney Love’s music, and it’s blown me away. I find so many things in there that inspire me, she’s got such an anti pop attitude, she’s had such a crazy life, and she’s owned it, even though a lot of people would judge. I’ve always loved music and people who don’t apologise. I’ve always been a very insecure person, doubting so many things about myself so it feels liberating and inspiring to see her go through life with pride in that way. And the sound is so raw. It really hits a spot with me.

My Bloody Valentine

I’m putting this in, because I’ve recently been having a second full on marriage with the album Loveless by MBV. I’m not sure if kids nowadays still know this band. It’s one of the most sonically important bands I’ve ever come across, and they’re inspiring me a lot for the second album at the moment. When you listen to Loveless, it’s always this magic, visceral trip within yourself, in which you discover something new every time you do. It’s a ‘living’ album in a way, the way it always shows you something new even after hearing it hundreds of times, that’s as genius as it gets.

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