American Young is duo Kristy Osmunson and Jon Stone, both of whom enjoyed success as songwriters prior to coming together as a band. Osmunson wrote Cheater, Cheater for Joey + Rory while Stone had written tracks for a range of artists including Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and Lee Brice. To coincide with their recent performance at C2C: Country to Country 2016, American Young released their self-titled EP here in the UK.
Featuring 6 tracks the EP gives fans a taste of what’s to come from American Young. Their first single Love Is War, which has already been a moderate airplay hit in the US, is present on the track list. The song was released in 2013 in the US so it’s taken a while to finally arrive here in the UK. Love Is War showcases American Young at their best putting the duo’s harmonies at the centre of the arrangement.
The EP opens with Wasn’t Gonna Drink Tonight opening with dramatic strings and urgent guitar riffs. Stone takes lead vocals and his voice is more of the rocky variety similar in style to Kip Moore. Osmunson provides harmony vocals on the track and it’s a decent start. God Sends a Train sees Osmunson take over lead vocals and her hushed tones suit the moody feel of the song.
Elsewhere on the EP Solider’s Wife (Don’t Want You To Go) tells a passionate tale of a wife struggling with the realities of being married to a soldier on active duty, and Ain’t Looking For Love is a mid-tempo radio-friendly moment that could find an audience on Country radio.
Closing track The Thunder Rolls is my favourite moment on the EP. It has an almost dance rhythm in the background and the harmonies of Osmunson and Stone sound fantastic. They definitely work best when harmonising and it’s working more on those moments that would make me more intrigued about the future output of the band.
One criticism I would direct towards American Young is that based on the evidence of this EP there isn’t anything in particular that separates them out from other Country artists. While the EP is solid enough, there’s nothing here that grabs you and makes you want to rush American Young to the top of your playlist.
Perhaps the duo will come into their own with their debut album and I’ll reserve proper judgement until then. As it stands based on this self-titled EP it’s a pleasant and competent affair but it doesn’t give us anything that isn’t already readily available in the Country genre. I’ll be interested to see if the duo can blaze their own path with their debut record.
Watch the video for Love Is War below:
Track Listing: 1. Wasn’t Gonna Drink Tonight 2. Ain’t Looking For Love 3. God Sends A Train 4. Love Is War 5. Soldier’s Wife (Don’t Want You To Go) 6. The Thunder Rolls Record Company: Curb Records Release Date: Friday 11th March 2016