On 1 May 2012, Canadian indie band Metric released their new single ‘Youth Without Youth’ from their upcoming fifth studio album, ‘Synthetica’, officially releasing on June 12. According to Metric’s frontwoman Emily Haines, ‘Synthetica‘ is about “forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection. ‘Synthetica‘ is about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It’s about what is real vs what is artificial.”
‘Youth Without Youth’ is the story of a repressed child, and as the verses progress, so do the child’s life. We follow the child through the teens and then being a young adult. I find the lyrics are compelling as they combine the idea of child games with destructive weapons. Lyrics like ‘hangman we played rubber soul with a razor blade’ and ‘We played double dutch with a hand grenade’. I find these two contrasting pairs work really well together. However, I find that the imagery would work better talking about perhaps a war-ridden country – how the youth are made to turn to war and violence at a young age, but that’s just me.
In terms of sound, the song differs from the style of the band’s previous album, ‘Fantasies’, in which they received positive reviews from many different critics. ‘Fantasies’ is more of an acoustic sounding, slightly toned down album. However, the electronic, synthesized sounds of this album seem consistent to the title and theme ‘Synthetica’ while also being pretty damn catchy!