(This is) Heaven elegantly details singer Alex Magnan’s tumultuously beautiful year, replete with finding love, losing love and discovering that real bliss was already vibrant and alive in his craft. This genre is known for finding the positive in the negative, whether that’s in sound alone or within the snark of obvious lyrics.
Young Culture does a fine job riding the line between spiteful declarations and vulnerable confessions of regret. Magnan and company miraculously touch on a wide range of emotion and style over the course of just five songs. “Deluxe” is an upbeat introduction with Jimmy Eat World energy, whereas “Breathe It In” would be an easy choice for a radio single. Channeling their contemporaries such as Sleep On It, “21 Days” continues the contagious bounce of Heaven before taking an unexpected and lovely left turn into our hero’s climax, “Never Changed.”
Following Magnan’s rollercoaster narrative, the track slows the energy of the EP while revealing our protagonist’s difficult decision and confident resolve to say goodbye for good. This is the album highlight by a mile, and that’s not to say the rest of the record doesn’t reach the same bar; it’s just that listeners will instantly fall in love with this very relatable story formatted in a potential mainstream hit. The vocals are more prominent, and the arrangement is flawless.
Before the listener reluctantly says their own goodbyes, “Drift” brings the well-worn pathways full circle, evoking comparisons to early Paramore and Bleach Blonde. Overall, (This Is) Heaven is a fun teaser with great storytelling. Young Culture will no doubt usher in a new wave of thoughtful, intricate pop in 2019.