by (@unclegrambo)

No Longer Rootless, Youngblood Hawke Is On The Right Path And Ready To Wake Up

(The members of Youngblood Hawke, from L to R: Bass player Omar Ahmed, drummer Nik Hughes, singer Sam Martin, guitarist/keyboardist Simon Katz, guitarist Tasso Smith, vocalist Alice Katz)

(The members of Youngblood Hawke, from L to R: Bass player Omar Ahmed, drummer Nik Hughes, singer Sam Martin, guitarist/keyboardist Simon Katz, guitarist Tasso Smith, vocalist Alice Katz)

It’s 5:30 p.m. and I’m one of eight passengers stuffed into a rented white Ford Econoline van alongside 30 different musical instrument cases housing everything from Roland Juno keyboards to guitars to a full drum kit. The members of Youngblood Hawke have just finished their second soundcheck of the day at the South By Southwest Music Festival, but they’ve already loaded and unloaded equipment from their van five different times today. You’d think the group might be weary after doing all that work without even being able to experience the rush of performing in front of any actual fans yet and, truth be told, the van is a little quiet as the various members of their group using their 10 minutes of downtime as they shuttle between venues to text and check their Twitter feeds. But then lead singer Sam Martin starts spontaneously humming a bit of the opening bars of the band’s song “Rootless” to himself, at an almost imperceptibly low volume. Although his humming is barely audible, sending these vibes out into the universe causes an instinctual, infectious ripple in the van and, within moments, the rest of the band starts singing along in harmonious unison. Sam looks up, smiles and takes the cue. “The world is feeling warmer,” he sings while the van drives down a side street in Austin, “The path rolling to your door is a jungle / I’ll be back because I never left.” And, just like that, I begin to grasp how the familial aura of this band —made up of both friends and family members— is going to be the thing that ultimately earns them a widespread audience.

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