Punch Brothers, ‘Who’s Feeling Young Now’ – Song Review
Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers deliver an introspective, literary bit of crossover bluegrass in ‘Who’s Feeling Young Now’ — a well-plucked, carefully constructed piece of songcraft that remains accessible, even pop, given its complexities.
It’s what we’ve come to expect from Thile, the prodigal band leader, whose compositions have a knack for balancing the avant garde and the totally awesome. ‘Feeling Young’ lilts, starts, waivers and drives as Thiles’ warbling narration recollects conversation that’s adult, honest and off the cuff.
Thiles seems insecure with his growing older, taking us from dark room to dark room to dark room, to a doorway, because “youth won’t be wasted on this one.” The chorus is urgent, paranoid, and intricate: “They try to tell us and at times we try to listen / But we can’t hear a thing when all we think about are all the things we think we might be missing.” Though he fears missing out, Thiles does not miss a cue, as the song shifts rhythm, stretches and condenses. There’s an air of regret here and a hint resilience, too: “’Cause if we think we are, we are, and if we don’t we aren’t worth the time it takes to think of making love with who we’re kissing.” It must be crowded in that head of his — full of lyrics and aspirations and insecurities.
As ever, the Punch Brothers put on a clinic in virtuosity: The fiddle swells in duet with Thile’s voice, and the mandolin plucks scatter notes across the four minutes. The Punch Brothers are tight, tight, tight — each measure is measured.
‘Who’s Feeling Young’ is the title track off the band’s third album, released back in February. The record’s full of bluegrass and indie rock, equal parts revel and introspection. Nashville gold right there.
Listen to the Punch Brothers’ ‘Who’s Feeling Young Now’