These guys are the very model of a modern indie band.
The synth-pop trio Young Heel doesn’t have to rely on huge studios or the potentially messy hands of outside producers and engineers. Every piece of music these gents have released to date was made in their Dumbo studio space with an eye on both quality and frugality.
“We’re pretty controlling of what we do,” said Young Heel’s founder Clay Bassford. “We want to make sure that every idea we have is executed exactly the way we envision it. And it’s way cheaper for us to record and mix our own stuff.”
Of course, there isn’t anything to reveal the humble origins of the music that Bassford and bandmates JT Norton and Steve Greenberg create together. Their upcoming EP “Tuff” has the sheen and subtle grooves of the best New Romantic pop of the ’80s while exhibiting the dual influences of modern hip hop and electronic dance music.
Young Heel jumped over a number of hurdles to arrive at this clear, cohesive sound. Born in Bassford’s college dorm, the project moved from Connecticut to Brooklyn and ballooned in membership to five people, including a guitarist and drummer, before settling into the current core trio.
And as with any creative endeavor, finding common ground with three distinct personalities can be a challenge.
“When you’re making something as intimate as art, you expose yourself to people,” said Bassford. “It’s hard to do that and hard to collaborate in that space. As long as you’re keeping an open mind, though, it can only lead you in the right direction.”
For now, the focus with Young Heel has been with impressing New York audiences, as the trio surely will at Glasslands on May 30th. But sooner than later, the group wants to start spreading its sound around the U.S. and hopefully beyond.
“We’re just waiting for the right opportunity to come up that will make it worthwhile for us to play outside of the city,” Bassford said. “We’re just trying to figure out how to make that happen on our own terms.”
Young Heel at Glasslands [289 Kent Ave. between S. First and S. Second Streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599–1450, www.thegla