Single of the week: The Haunted Youth – Shadows review

by Craig Howieson

There is an intrinsic beauty in seeing the same old thing through a new set of eyes, and with a renewed appreciation. Whether that be realising the value of a friendship you’d come to take for granted, extracting simple pleasures from your day to day life that had become routine, or even finding a new respect for the opportunities your freedom allows you. 

Hailing from the Belgian city of Hasselt, The Haunted Youth’s Joachim Libens has taken what sounds a childhood soaked in the shoegaze and dream pop of Beach House and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, and instead of seeing a formula to replicate, has picked the building blocks to lay the foundations of his own sound. Although some influences bubble just beneath the surface, there is an impassioned authenticity to new single, Shadows, that makes the refrain of ‘I need to get away from here’ all the more relatable, and allows him to emerge from a scene that is often – unfairly – thought of as being saturated with poor imitations.

Not unlike the very best of the genre Libens has studied, Shadows, with its motorik bass lines and waterfall of guitar lines, invites you somewhere – anywhere – else for its duration. And in doing so, it is a respite from the mundanity we can all slip into; a chance to come back refreshed, and ready to see things a bit more clearly. 

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