Sounds Like: An introverted Seventies-era singer-songwriter's mellow musings brought into the present day with squelchy electro-synths.
For Fans of: Death Cab For Cutie, Passenger, Vance Joy
Why You Should Pay Attention: He released two of his biggest songs to date back in 2015 — the spare and apologetic breakup single "I'll Be Good" and his duet with Phoebe Ryan "We Won't" – to a combined streaming total of more than 80 million. This year's debut LP, Feel Something, shows him to have serious musical range. The Seattle-bred 27-year-old musician deftly maneuvers between slick electro-pop ("Sugar Burn"), dance floor drops ("Naked") and hip-hop beats ("Two People"). Raised on angst-ridden singer-songwriters like Elliot Smith, Ben Gibbard and Eddie Vedder, Young was a "depressed loner" before picking up a guitar at age 13. "When I found music it was like, This solves all my problems," he says.
He Says: "If you want to be a great songwriter you need to be able to communicate an emotional message to as many people as possible and reach them and move them. You could write something so avant-garde and it would go completely over people's heads. And you'll think you're a genius but who the hell is gonna know what you're talking about?"
Hear for Yourself: On the title track from his debut album, Young's volatile emotions seesaw with the song's rollercoaster sonic shifts. "I'm too young to feel so numb," he sings, his voice quivering. Dan Hyman