Monument Valley is the musical world of London-born Ned Younger. Inspired by classic 1950s rock and roll, Postcard-era indie-pop and the modern poets of hip hop, Younger weaves all his musical touchstones into a passion for timeless story-telling and song-writing. His first release, the Tongues EP is due December 5 on Tritone/PIAS UK Records.
Despite the expansive moniker, it is under the Monument Valley alias that Younger has created an introspective and articulate EP. The seeds of this project had been unwittingly sewn some time ago, during the accumulation of an extensive collection of strangers’ ‘lost’ photographs, which Younger had gradually amassed from markets and car boot sales. It was whilst surveying the hundreds of anonymous faces of these ‘John Doe’ albums that Younger was struck by the thought which spawned Tongues – to narrate the imagined stories behind these images, and thus to articulate the silent and the unfamiliar.
Fittingly, the Tongues release format reflects its distinctive origins- the EP will be accompanied by a beautiful book comprised of lyrics to several of Younger’s ‘imagined’ songs, alongside the original photographs which inspired them and accompanying illustrations by Mikey Smith.
The EP resonates with a narrative ability not dissimilar to the tendencies made so compelling by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Chris Isaak and Elliott Smith. Elsewhere, the guitar intricacy of lead track Round and Round displays a childhood spent hooked into Buddy Holly records, and later tempered with the sardonic poetry of Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian.
Have a listen.