Young Empires is a Canadian rock band formed in Toronto in October, 2009. Initially the group was composed of vocalist and keyboardist, Matthew Vlahovich; bassist, Jacob Palahnuk; and guitarist, Robert Aaron Ellingson. The drummer, Taylor Hill, after a stint with Fritz Helder and the Phantoms, joined the line-up as its fourth member in late 2011. In February 2013, the band parted ways with Robert Aaron Ellingson citing philosophical differences and wrote and recorded the forthcoming debut album as a three piece.
Their music blends elements of alternative dance, electro, and indie rock. Worldbeat refers to the African and Latin American percussion used in their tracks. Young Empires’ sound has been compared to the likes of The Killers, Arcade Fire, Cut Copy, Friendly Fires, and Foals.
Young Empires' music has evolved alongside a more ambitious project. A whole brand has emerged from these Canadian entrepreneurs called The House of Young Empires. The House embraces clothing, remixes, videos, and web design. In collaboration with a Toronto-based fashion line, Handsome Clothing, Young Empires has launched a collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts.
The fashion industry embraced them with open arms by featuring Young Empires on the Parisian music label Kitsuné Maison 10, Nylon TV fashion video and in Dazed & Confused.
The Young Empires’ journey started in August, 2009, when Aaron Ellingson and Jacob Palahnuk jammed with some other friends. With the nascent musical connection between them, the two of them decided to form a band. Matthew Vlahovich and Jacob met at a gig with Jacob’s previous band Turn off the stars. Matthew was doing his solo project, GoldenGirls, back then but put his one-man band on hiatus and joined the duo.
Young Empires was born in October, 2009. After less than a month of jamming, Matthew had a show offer for his solo project. He was asked to open for We Have Band at Wrongbar in Toronto, but he decided to perform as a band instead. Only a few songs were written at the time, and the band had just two weeks to write a half-hour set. Since then, Young Empires have released online a number of demos and videos recorded in their bedrooms and rehearsal rooms. Their website as well as the graphic elements and videos are designed by Jacob and Aaron, respectively.
Before the release of their first EP, the band managed to create within two years a reputation on a world scale and gained a fan base through supporting acts of many bands and traveling extensively across three continents. After a year of writing and recording, the band has begun prepping the release of their debut album with recent single releases of So Cruel and The Gates.
A year after the inception, the band took part in the Nem-Catacoa Festival in Bogota (Colombia) which also hosted Green Day and Jamiroquai. Young Empires filled their impressive resume by performing at The Juno Awards on March 25, 2011, at the North-by-Northeast Music and Film Festival (NXNE) on June 17, 2010, and at the Harbourfront Centre on July 2, 2011, in Toronto, where at the SoundClash Music Awards, the band was awarded 3rd place out of five short-listed finalists. The Grammy Awards accommodated the band for its 53rd edition at the Canadian Blast Grammy Party. They hit the stage at New York's CMJ music week in October 2011, at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin in March 2011 and The Great Escape Festival in Brighton in May 2011. Their resume includes stops in Paris, Los Angeles, Stockholm, London and Montreal, among others.
Young Empires has shared the stage with headliners such as Jamiroquai, Chromeo, Foster the People, Dragonette, Japandroids, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, Jamaica, Vampire Weekend and We Have Band.
After two years as an unsigned band, Young Empires chose to sign a deal with the Pirates Blend Records. The latter is a recently launched label, which also has signed the Toronto band Bedouin Soundclash. “Choosing to release 'Wake All My Youth' with Pirates Blend has offered us the best of both worlds. On the one hand we’re totally independent and make all of our own decisions, yet on the other, we’re immersed in one of the strongest communities in Canadian music” according to Robert Aaron Ellingson.
Young Empires' music has been well received by Canadian radio stations. Their song, White Doves, was voted #6 on SiriusXM's "Top 50 of 2011" and was chosen by CTV as the background music to "relive some of the best sights and sounds from the London 2012 Olympics." Since the release of their EP, the band made an appearance on 102.1 The Edge CFNY on January 30, 2012 and on The Verge (XM) Online Radio on February 8, 2012. Young Empires was a guest on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, which aired on February 17, 2012, on CBC and on MTV Live. In late January, 2012, they hit the road throughout North America to promote their first recorded efforts and will be present at the 2012 SXSW in Austin, Texas.
They received a highly favorable review of their first 2012 US tour gig at the Mercury Lounge on March 1, 2012, by According 2 G entitled, "10 Reasons You Should Always Go See Young Empires." The #9 reason was "After their set was over, the crowd refused to accept it and was literally begging for them to play more songs. That's a site, I've rarely seen (and I see hundreds of bands a year!)."
Some of their tracks have reached the top spots on iTunes Canada Rock Charts (#2), while two of their demos have reached the top 15 on The Hype Machine’s charts. Their song, White Doves, was voted #6 on SiriusXM's Top 50 of 2011.
On May 28, 2012, Young Empires released the world's first Facebook Connect interactive music video that was featured on Fast Company on May 31, 2012.
On July 27, 2012, FIFPLAY announced that "Rain of Gold" would be featured as one of the songs in the FIFA 13 soundtrack.
Young Empires have recently been nominated in three categories of the 2012 CASBY Award presented by The Edge 102.1 CFNY namely for Best New Artist, Best New Single, and Best New Album.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Young Empires in the news
|Songs by Young Empires|