Young & Sick – Continuum (EP Review)

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Young and Sick is an LA-based music and art project, and the brainchild of Dutch musician, producer, vocalist and visual artist Nick Van Hofwegen. The release of his upcoming EP, ‘Continuum’, is accompanied by his debut UK live shows at the Great Escape and Birthdays in London on May 10th and 12th respectively.

Before releasing his own music, Van Hofwegen made his name as a visual artist, creating artwork for releases by the likes of Foster The People, Maroon 5 and Mikky Ekko, as well as being involved in gallery and street art projects. His designs have also been featured in a fashion line by Urban Outfitters.

The EP opens with the title track; stripped back and sincere, the track is uncluttered, unfussy. It doesn’t rely on fancy trickery or orchestral depth for impact; it’s beautiful in its lack of ceremony, its tranquility.

‘House of Spirits’ continues in the same way; led by the confident vocals, and backed by an unobtrusive R&B beat. The dueting vocals dance around one another like butterflies, pulled back and forth on an electronica breeze.

The EP changes with ‘Magnolia’; upping the intensity of every aspect. The vocals gain power against multi-layered instrumentals that surrender entirely to R&B and electronica influences. Closing track ‘Willow’ continues with the pace, the thickness, the richness. The song is like musical caramel.

The Young and Sick project embraces its duality through art and music, and this EP is two halves of a whole. Not in opposition with itself, but celebrating its own differences and similarities. It accepts that any coin has two different sides, and it delights in flipping them. Either way, both sides are equally beautiful, like lying on grass under a clear blue sky.