Meet Amorous, the D.C. Shoegaze Band That Is Embracing Chaos in a Chaotic World (By Kevin Pollack)

It started with a biotechnician, as all good rock ‘n’ roll stories do. Alec Young—the chief songwriter and producer for D.C. shoegaze and dream pop band Amorous—had been conversing with his friend Gus, a “passionate biotechnician” who was explaining his work. Gus mentioned entropy—“you know, the chemistry or physics term that has to do with chaos in matter,” Young explains—and it immediately struck a chord.

 Young describes the moment as pure serendipity, the direct inspiration for his band’s forthcoming debut record, Entropy. Earlier in our conversation—over the phone, as both of us were quarantined at home during the coronavirus pandemic—he mentioned the influence of the notion of chaos on his songwriting and music. “Shoegaze,” he elaborates, “is all about taking the chaos of the world and presenting this wall of sound that people can get lost in.” Amorous embodies that mayhem, a concept that is almost too relevant in this tumultuous era for the young musician.

 Like any 20-something brought up in the digital age, Young developed a fondness for the classic albums of the 1990s, chief among them My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze masterpiece Loveless. Young chose Amorous as the title of his project not only as a nod of respect to the Irish band but also as a purposeful attempt to escape from M.B.V.’s mammoth shadow; while Amorous certainly borrows the groundbreakingly ethereal and lush walls of distortion of Loveless, the group has also departed from that sound, drawing inspiration from jazzy and alternative contemporary sources such as King Krule and Triathalon.

 Amorous is far from Young’s first musical outing. A self-taught guitarist, he joined a band as a bassist at 15 years old, and at 19, Young headed a grunge band—“I was very inspired by good old Nirvana”—that he eventually abandoned. He then pursued an independent project titled Beverage, a sort of traveling circus that followed Young as he moved from South Carolina back to Maryland and then across the country to San Diego, where he lived for a year and a half.

 After Young moved back to the east coast, Beverage evolved into Amorous, which has garnered considerable attention among D.C.’s D.I.Y community. The group has released a three-track tape of demos and five singles, opened for international bands—including Australia’s Good Morning and Belgium’s SLOW CRUSH—and established a name for itself in the local scene by collaborating with D.C. and District-adjacent acts such as Moon Tide Gallery.

 In his current musical incarnation as Amorous, Young has found that not only chaos but also intense emotion—love—guides much of his output. His girlfriend has contributed guest vocals on a number of songs, and Young explains that Entropy’s nine tracks (as well as the four on the “quarantine E.P.” that Young plans to release soon) all express the common theme of an emotional rollercoaster rooted in love.

 Love and chaos, in Young’s opinion, are not in conflict but actually harmonious, compatible. “What’s more chaotic than love?” Young asks rhetorically. He and I both know the answer, and he says it with a resigned yet reassuring attitude: “Not much.”

 

Follow Amorous on Instagram: @amorous.dc

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