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Moods: Type: Acoustic Moods: Instrumental Country: Americana Rock: Post-Rock/Experimental Folk: Singer/Songwriter

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R.J. Young

R.J. Young, a native of Portland, Oregon, has been playing music since age 13, when he got his first guitar. Young’s music, a unique blend of Americana and art rock, is largely instrumental with a cinematic feel.

Studying classical composition in college, Young discovered ways to combine genres with continuity and style. In 2002, he set out to create a sound different from anything he had ever heard and started recording 20 demos for an album called “Fade.” It was to be a melodic, moody and heavily country-flavored instrumental rock album.

With the exception of sparse, non-lyrical vocal melodies, “Fade” is entirely instrumental. Young, who is primarily a guitarist but also a multi-instrumentalist, plays most of the instruments on the album. Both electric and acoustic guitars play integral roles in Young’s music, and to achieve his sound he also relies on the timbres of other instruments ranging from the baritone guitar to the glockenspiel. Dave Smith lays down the drums on “Fade,” and Rebecca Silva sings the ethereal vocal lines.

At nearly 77 minutes, “Fade” bends and blends genres for an album that is at turns rowdy, quiet, passionate and eerie, with each of the 16 compositions playing like a chapter in an epic story told only with sounds. One of the extraordinary qualities of “Fade” is that it has a lot of presence in the lower frequencies. Some tracks feature low-frequency effects, which are rarely heard in music outside of a film soundtrack. “Fade” should give a serious sub-woofer a workout.

Young’s 2011 release, “12:34,” is an instrumental alt. country album with a strong progressive rock slant. His main focus on each track is melody. With his guitar, he constructs complex, haunting and emotional melodies that stay with the listener. Young is interested in creating moods and expressing emotions more so than using each song as an exhibition of technique. Many who have heard his music say it sounds like the score to a dark and modern Western film, or that it evokes memories of driving through the desert.

After studying music in college, Young played in a couple of bands in the 90s Portland rock scene. In 1995, he released a CD of his classical/orchestral works. Two years later, he released a full-length album titled “Tall Tales and Confessions” with the band Bob. He released an EP in 2000 with the band Meridian, and has not played in a band since Meridian’s breakup in 2003. Young then regained his musical focus and rediscovered his love and passion for composition. He not only has been producing his own music over the past five years, but also has produced three albums for other recording artists in various genres.

"Fade" will be released on February 24th, 2015.

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