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State of Youth: CHC's Underground Indie Kaleidoscope

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

It's no secret that the Calvert Hall music scene is one of the best in the state, with fourteen different ensembles filled to the brim with some of the most talented musicians and students in the Baltimore community. However, the music of our school goes beyond just the Kollman Music Center, trickling down into lesser-knows, independent music groups. A perfect example of this is State of Youth, an underground indie band made up of Jose Rivas '22, Nick Mellen '22, Logan Williams '23, Lucas Vandewinckel '23, and Ryan Parker '22.

The band falls under a classification somewhere between indie, pop, punk, and rock, butthe group itself refuses to be chained down by a single genre. The music can be found on YouTube and Spotify.

In the words of drummer Logan, "I think what sets apart from other bands is our diverse taste. Everyone has common interests, but I think it's our differences that makes our music what it is. Luke is very much a metal head. Ryan likes country. I like a lot of digital music and rap. Jose listens to elevator music. Mix all that together and you get whatever State of Youth is."

Their diversity of taste contributes to their music's unique feel and allows them to transcend the antiquated notion that music needs to fit a certain "genre".

I've seen them play a few times, and what always strikes me is the assertive individuality shown by each member. Lucas, the lead electric guitarist, takes influence from the golden age of heavy metal and is rarely seen without sunglasses and a leather jacket. He makes frequent use of audacious bravado with his impressive arsenal of solos and riffs. Ryan often comes donned in a plaid flannel sweater and trucker hat, dancing his fingers along the frets with a cool ease that complements the flamboyance of Lucas. Logan employes a forceful enthusiasm to his work on the drums, providing a strong base for the band to build a melody. Nick, the second electric guitarist, applies his own punk style to the band, rendering even the simplest of tunes - including the classic songs like "Frosty the Snowman"- into intense anti-establishment headbangers. To bring it all together is Jose, the lead singer, whose voice is a perfect mixture of smooth indie feels that keeps the band working as one whole.

State of Youth has release several singles - such as their recent Christmas song "Warm Winter" - in addition to an EP recording called Stuck and a number of covers from popular indie bands like Cavetown. While some parts of their repertoire might not be for everyone, their diverse perspectives on songwriting mean that, no matter what kind of music you're into, State of Youth must have something for you.

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