Young the Giant: with guests: Fitz and the Tantrums, Alice Merton

Performing Arts - Music | August 15 | 6 p.m. |  Hearst Greek Theatre

 Another Planet Entertainment

The fourth album from Young the Giant, ​Mirror Master​ is a layered meditation on identity in modern life, an emotionally charged look at the dangers of illusion and possibilities of freedom. “Within one single day, we’re all so many different people,” says Gadhia, lead vocalist for the L.A.-based band. “Especially with the use of social media, we’re not just living in the now—we’re living on several different timelines simultaneously. At a time when everyone wants to put each other in a box—culturally, socially, musically—we wanted to show that there are a multitude of reflections inside everything. We don’t have to be a certain thing; we can contradict ourselves and show all these different sides of who we are.”

Mirror Master ​arrives as a continuation of Young the Giant’s ​Home of the Strange​, a 2016 album that found the band members shedding light on their shared experience as immigrants or first-generation Americans. But in a departure from the externally focused ​Home of the Strange—​ an album written entirely before Donald Trump emerged as a presidential candidate—​Mirror Master​ shifts perspective and joins in the post-election reckoning faced by so many Americans. With the influx of social media use and public attention to cultural issues in the country, people have been forced to see how their actions, both good and bad, are reflected. “This record takes a lot of the concepts we explored on the last album but plunges them inward,” notes Gadhia. “It’s about being okay with yourself, especially in light of what’s happened in the world in the last two years, and realizing that there’s something beyond that duality of right and left, black and white. The space in-between is infinite.”

In bringing​ Mirror Master​ to life, Young the Giant applied that sense of openness and imagination to every aspect of the creative process. Working with producers like John Hill (Santigold, Florence + the Machine), Alex Salibian (who worked on HomeoftheS​ trange),andTVontheRadio’sDaveSitek,thebandpurposely upended songwriting formula and took an intuitive approach to constructing each track, always emphasizing substance over style. “With production you can dress up a song however you want, so we made a point of not using that as a crutch,” says Gadhia. “Instead of thinking about the tonality so much, we just focused on what we wanted to say within the song.”

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