Essential New Music: Young Jesus’ “S/T”

“Feeling” is more than just the name of a song for Young Jesus. It’s a statement of intent. For almost a decade, the Los Angeles act has conjured feelings of complexity through its dynamic, spacious rock songs. 2015’s Grow / Decompose took an approach of specifics, telling detailed stories with a political purpose. Last year’s S/T, now freshly reissued by Saddle Creek just months after its initial release, takes a more abstract approach, dealing less with the concrete realities to which we react and instead focusing on the concept of emotion itself.

With the seven-song, 45-minute S/T, Young Jesus give its songs room to spill out in slowly developing textures. Each song flows into the next in such a seamless and natural evolution that, in reaching the final moments of 13-minute closer “Storm,” we’re left to ponder the expanses of sonic and emotional ground covered, from the tentative meditation on memory of “Under” to the epic shapeshifting of “Feeling.”

—Jordan Walsh