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Sauna Youth

The members of Sauna Youth have roots in punk, but when forming the band they decided to pursue a ferociously angular noise pop sound instead. Recording for two influential U.K. labels, Faux Discx and Upset the Rhythm, they earned their place on both by making uncompromising post-punk records like 2015's Distractions, that balanced trenchant lyrical observations with hooks as sharp as a newly honed paring knife. Initially based around the lineup of vocalist Rich Phoenix, guitarist Lindsay Corstorphine, bassist Christopher Murphy, and drummer Reza Mirehsan, the band formed in London during 2009. While some members were living in Brighton and some in London, the group made a demo tape titled Planet Sounds, and followed it up with their first single, the self-released "Youth" in 2010. The Mad Mind cassette came out that same year, with their second single, "Lists," and a split with Ale Mania in 2011. Lineup changes hit the band that year as well, with Phoenix moving over to drums and Jen Calleja joining on vocals and sampler. The newly revamped group set to work recording a full-length album, and after two early efforts were set aside due to the band's desire to get things exactly right, Dreamlands was co-released by Faux Discx and Gringo Records in 2012. After a single in 2013, "False Jesii, Pt. 2," the band began work on their second album. During the sessions they hit an artistic roadblock and to shake things up, decided to switch instruments and form a second band, Monotony. Before the album's release, their new label Upset the Rhythm put out a split Sauna Youth/Monotony single in May of 2015 and Distractions was issued the next month. They spent the next two years performing sporadically throughout the U.K., working day jobs and playing in other bands like Primitive Parts, Feature, and Cold Pumas. When it came time to record their next record, they purposely made it difficult by booking studio time before they had any songs written. With only five months to write and figure out how to play an album's worth of songs, it forced them to focus their energy and steer clear of over-thinking or distraction as they met each week to work. In June of 2017, they spent three days in No Recording Studios with John Hannon recording 12 ripping noise punk songs that dealt with political turmoil, work/leisure balance, and artistic integrity. The resulting album, Deaths, was released in September of 2018, again by Upset the Rhythm.
© Tim Sendra /TiVo
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