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.
After less than a month of jamming in 2009, 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.
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.
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.
Their music blends elements of indie dance, electro, and indie rock. World beat 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 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.
Their debut EP, ‘Wake All My Youth,’ was released in Canada on January 31, 2012, and in the US and worldwide on February 21, 2012. The EP contains seven tracks and was released on Pirates Blend with mix production by Al-P of MSTRKRFT and Burke Reid.
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.
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