Young Galaxy expands with new tour

With Invisible Republic, Young Galaxy want to make a big bang on the Canadian music scene. Released in late August, the group is gearing up for their first serious tour since laying low for all of 2008 and most of ’09 while recording Republic.

“We haven’t been on a big tour in a while now,” says songwriter and guitarist Stephen Ramsay with a laugh. “It’s been probably, God, over a year. Inevitably everybody in the band is getting hit by sickness.”

Ramsay, voice scratchy from a cold, hopes he can get over the illness before the group hits Cow-town.

“I’ve got a bit of a lingering cold — four days ago I was laying in bed and said ‘My God am I even going to make it?’ I’m feeling better. Hopefully this gets it out of the way and I can run topless across the tundra and nothing will effect me. My immunity will be in full effect by the time there’s full effect.”

The group, playing at Broken City Thursday, October 22 with Vancouver prog-rockers Bend Sinister, have been off the road for a long while. The band last toured in December 2007 because of the long recording process for Republic, including adding new members Max Henry and Stephen Kamp.

“Since [the last tour] we’ve been making this record,” says Ramsay. “We did a little thing for SXSW but that was like a week. Going out with the new members in the band since the last record, some of them haven’t been on a tour once again. It’ll be a first once again for the band. It’s like we’re starting out fresh.”

Invisible Republic is a fitting return for Young Galaxy, full of gauzy soundscapes perfect for a quiet night on the ice-cold snow. The lyrics run from surreal to simple storytelling, inscrutable and abstract to transcendental. For example, the song “Smoke and Mirror Show” was crafted after a mind-blowing conversation at a bar that left Ramsay’s head floating in the clouds.

“That song lyrically came out of a conversation I had with a friend of mine,” says Ramsay. “We were sitting there and he was having a beer and he said, ‘I was kayaking the other day and it just occurred to me in this beautiful peaceful moment that why don’t we just float away one day? Why does gravity continue? Why don’t we suddenly just list away? What keeps us here?’ It was this really psychedelic thought.”

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