Youth Sector detail their Really Very Good new EP, ‘Quarells’

A fizzy, fantastically sharp collection of absolute bangers, Youth Sector’s Nick Tompkins talks us through the band’s new EP track by track.

A fizzy, fantastically sharp collection of absolute bangers, Youth Sector’s Nick Tompkins talks us through the band’s new EP track by track, for our latest Artist’s Guide.

The Ball 

This one was written right at the beginning of the Partygate scandal; the “who dropped the ball” lyric was just an ode to the general barrage of scandals and cover-ups that we’d seen from Johnson’s premiership already. By the time the demo had gestated and released, we’d just had Truss’s catastrophic budget crashing the pound, so the life cycle of this song is evidence of the staying power of Tory sleaze. A fun tune, though, no?

Benign Fire in a Small Room 

This track was written upwards from Josh’s bass line – we were both listening to a lot of Cola at the time (the album had just come out, I think?), and although the track doesn’t sound like Cola, we were just inspired by the bass-driven sound and simplicity of their sound. It’s about when you’re not doing so well, but everyone else notices it before you do.

A Definitive Guide to Easy Living 

I live in London, and one thing you can’t help but notice once you see it once, is anti-homeless architecture, which is parts of the city (public benches, bus stops etc.) which have been designed in such a way that rough sleepers can’t sleep there or stay there comfortably. Notice how benches at bus stops are super narrow and always sloping downwards. I think this is a really disgusting practice and reveals the very worst of our culture, so this tune was written from the tongue-in-cheek perspective of someone who proudly designs cities in a way that keeps homeless people out and ironically gets paid handsomely for it.

Free Parking 

This has always been a live favourite for us; it’s super easy to play on all our instruments which means you can really dig in on stage. It’s been knocking about in different guises for a long time, and we whipped it into its final shape head of the EP.

Won’t Stop the Wheel 

If “grab the bull by the horns” and “carpe diem” are yin, then this song is surely yang. We tried to get the song as jangly and jovial as possible sounding, with that jaunty swung groove, but the lyrics are essentially saying, “people don’t change, the world doesn’t change, it’s all gonna keep on ticking along”, and to be quite honest I think the entire four seasons of Succession are a testament to that logic. I like how there are a lot of feel-good songs that have a ‘call to action’ chorus (‘Born to Run’, ‘Chandelier’ etc.), and this is the most sing-along chorus we’ve got on the EP, and it’s about the sheer hopelessness of it all. Even better that it’s the closing number of the EP!

Youth Sector’s new EP ‘Quarells’ is out now.