New You is bringing grunge back home to the Pacific Northwest with their new EP Candy. Hailing from the outskirts of Seattle and Tacoma Washington, New You’s ‘90s grunge vibes combine with elements of shoegaze, emo, and alt-rock to create a sonic pallet that’s both familiar and brand spanking new. Starting as guitarist/vocalist Blake Turner’s side project, New You began its new phase when he connected with bassist Chase Valentine, guitarist Cody Gores, and drummer Mike Parker.
Candy’s five tracks include distorted chorus guitar tones, killer harmonies, and catchy hooks. The opening track “Listerine” is a strong start right out of the gate. For such a solid grunge opener, Turner’s vocals have a soothing quality as he sings /I wanna be your favorite magazine and swim inside your Listerine/ I wanna spin around your happy dreams and everything in between/. Echoed lyrics add another layer of fun and energy.
“Big Surprise” has the feel of an uplifting rocker. Parker’s drums and Valentine’s driving bass are relentless behind the interwoven guitar and vocal harmonies. /You don’t wanna lose it but you’re scared to get too high/ Push the daisy through it/ It doesn’t matter when we die/ It’s a big surprise/. Happy-sounding songs with darker lyrics are always a win.
“Daydream” is a standout on Candy. It starts hard and heavy but pulls it back for the verse before going all-in again for the hook. It tugs on all the nostalgic heartstrings. The song really opens up and makes a huge splash at the end with gorgeous harmonies belting “just dream.” As the track fades, the instruments putter out one at a time until the only thing you hear is a faded drumset. It’s as if you’re slowly waking from a dream.
“Washed out” is a power-pop ode to “circling the drain” as Turner opines about standing apart /I spent the day adjacent/ I let it all just wash over me/. With righteous guitar melodies over layers of power chords “Washed Out” isn’t so preoccupied with being a pop song that it forgets about structure. The drums pull back for vocal breaks creating a tonal shift as Turner sings /and all I’ve ever wanted was to find myself a hiding place /a million miles away/. New You’s dynamic songwriting is engaging and keeps things from sounding like a constant wall of sound. Instead, you get ebbs and flows–moments of high and low energy.
The closing track, “Fairweather” begins simply enough with vocals over a single distorted guitar chugging along. This gentle intro opens up to riffy goodness, solid backup vocals, and interesting dynamics as the song shifts to cleaner tones and then busts out with one of the coolest guitar solos on the EP.
Between ‘90s grunge nostalgia, timeless lyrics, and solid musicianship, New You’s new release Candy has a lot going for it.
New You is a relatively new project. How did this group form?
It originally started as a solo project in 2021 when I was living in Massachusetts. I had just finished a year’s worth of self releasing shoegaze music under the moniker Mourning Collective and wanted a break from the heavier subject matter that genre typically dives into, so I started writing some simple power chord based pop rock songs just for fun. I released the first three songs as a tape, and then another standalone single that summer. I knew I was going to be moving back home to Washington State later that year, so when Lonely Ghost Records brought up the idea of signing the project, I called up my friends from a previous project and brought them into the band officially. We wrote the next single, Like Automatic, and the entire EP together as a cohesive band. It wasn’t really started as anything too serious, but it sort of naturally ended up becoming our main project.
What’s the songwriting process like for New You? Do you have a favorite track?
It can really vary. Most of the time we try to sit down in a room together and hash out demo tracks together. Sometimes one of us will have a demo we made ourselves at home already and the band will flesh it out and make adjustments and improvements. We’re all in our 30’s and have full time jobs so we try to keep it flexible, otherwise it would take us forever to do anything.
I can only speak for myself but as far as favorite tracks go, I think it’s a tie between Suffer and Listerine. Both songs to me represent the current ideal of the New You sound: fun, loud, and memorable.
Are you planning on taking the EP on tour any time soon?
Touring isn’t necessarily something that’s on our minds right now. I think we’re content to stay regional to the Pacific Northwest for awhile and see how things go from there. I’d love to carve out a weekend to do a small west coast run at some point, but it’s a cost management thing. We don’t have a van. Do we spend a few grand to play a couple of shows on the road, or do we spend that money on the next record? It’s all a balancing act to me.
What was the recording process like for Candy?
We demoed all of the tracks at Chase’s, our bass player’s house. Once we were happy with how everything was sounding, we tracked drums with Anthony Tron Laur, a good friend who’s also a killer producer. We then went back to Chase’s house to track the rest of the instruments and vocals. Cody Ratley of the band Shamewave has been mixing all of our music since Suffer, and he did an absolutely killer job with Candy, which was then mastered by Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering. It’s hard to be anything but super happy with the final product, we’re all really proud of it and I think it represents a really important step in what we’re trying to do with New You. It’s our first true EP, our first actual release with Lonely Ghost, it’s just a leap forward for our little project and I think it’s laying a really strong foundation for what we plan on doing next. Stay tuned. Thanks.