Soundbite: “Loner” and “Eleven Minutes” by Yungblud

“All my friends’ll desert again/and I don’t want to be a loner” sings 21-year-old England native Yungblud in the opening line of one his newest singles, “Loner.” Yungblud, born Dominic Harrison, is an up-and-coming alternative/indie/pop/rock artist who comes off as overwhelmingly energetic, all while being undeniably charismatic. Committed to uniting people by writing songs revolving around topics that he is passionate about, Yungblud addresses mainly English and also American politics, gender stereotypes and other social issues he has seen as a young adult growing up in the 21st century.

Hailing from South Yorkshire, England, Yungblud was raised in a musical family. His grandfather was a musician who played with English rock band T-Rex during the 70s, and his father was a vintage guitar dealer. Naturally, Yungblud developed a passion for his craft early on:  he had his first guitar lesson at four years old. At the age of 16, he dropped out of high school and moved to London in pursuit of a music career. It wasn’t until he was able to release music and see others relate to his lyrics that he finally felt understood, a feeling he’d been searching for his whole life.

While I was listening to Yungblud’s debut album from 2018, “21st Century Liability,” I was surprised to stumble upon a song called “Polygraph Eyes.” Not only is the instrumentation superb, but this track highlights the issue of sexual assault and how it is overlooked by society, a topic rarely spoken about through a male artist’s lyrics. Yungblud has stated on multiple occasions how much writing and releasing this song means to him and how much effort he put into producing it. During an interview with Atwood Magazine, Yungblud explained, “Right now there’s this extraordinary scene of female empowerment, and I don’t want to just stand there. I want to be part of this as well even though I am a man.”

On Jan. 16, Yungblud released a brand new single “Loner.” It is a fast-paced, high intensity track about feeling lonely when you just want to be who you are and set yourself apart from the crowd. The song contains an extremely catchy melody and sounds as if it could be played at the beginning of a 90s teen movie. It features heavy instrumentation and blaring backup vocals.  It’s the exact blend of sounds necessary for setting up the story Yungblud is trying to tell: “Bounce if you’ve had enough/and just let go.”

Released on Feb. 21, “Eleven Minutes” features Halsey and blink-182’s Travis Barker. The subject matter and instrumentation are pretty dark but fits all three of the artists, with Yungblud and Halsey delivering vocals and Barker on drums. My favorite aspect of the song is the back and forth between the singers, specifically with the line “I’m eleven minutes away/and I have missed you all day.” This track is a huge milestone for Yungblud. It exposes him to an audience that was pretty much unaware of his existence, which included myself until a week ago. “Eleven Minutes” is the first of his songs to chart, and I guarantee it will not be the last.

Side-note: I highly recommend that you watch Yungblud’s rendition of Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Follow You Into the Dark,” which he performed alongside Halsey for Triple J’s Like A Version.

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