July 13, 2016

LP: Youth Pastor - Drugstore (small songs)

Wallflowers will find comfort in Youth Pastor's Drugstore (small songs).

Youth Pastor aka Maggie "from the D.C. area"'s second album sounds like a whisper in your ear. It’s a weekend night and she’s out in Chinatown with a guy who her friend likes and who will later hurt her. There are donuts involved. Things seemed a lot simpler. It’s like this — remember that last good night before the pain sets in? This is a sentiment anyone can relate to: the first good kiss in what will soon be a bad relationship, the perfect summer night that ends in a car accident. What I’m getting at is that shit happens and Drugstore (small songs) is a reflection and a soul-cleansing attempt to problem solve. The songs that make up the album are fragments, pieces of memories, diary entries even. The entire album is short, just under fifteen minutes long and there is nothing particularly complicated about any of these songs. It’s just Youth Pastor and a guitar and, in a few instances, the artist with a piano. The recording quality is bare bones; it sounds what music sounds like when you make it in your bed — which is exactly the point. At the very heart of this album is intimacy and self-narrative. It breaks down everyday moments, like going to Whole Foods or CVS, and digs even deeper than the mundane nature of these activities.

In "free time," Youth Pastor wonders why she’s even in college. There’s a whole big world out there and there’s not enough time to explore when you’re stuck in school. In “ghost of john,” she plays the basic chord progression to a song that you sing and play along with in elementary school. The album also features two distinct covers, one by Salvia Plath as well as a cover of The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love.” These covers are like bookends to the album that could easily appear on a playlist you've made for a friend. When I listen to this album, I can’t help but compare it to the plethora of early albums made by Frankie Cosmos. Youth Pastor, like Frankie, compulsively chronicles. Both women make music about exactly what is around them in a way that feels both comfortable and brave. Youth Pastor’s music is what you listen to alone with people around. Like much of the wonderfully fuzzy bedroom pop that is being made, Maggie is making music for wallflowers — kids who will tell you all of their secrets and share pieces of the earth they’ve traveled if you take the time to get to know them first.


Listen to Youth Pastor on bandcamp

S. Frances Kemp is a D.C based freelance music writer. She's a student at Oberlin College where she studies Comparative Literature and French. You can follow her on twitter @sophiefkemp.