How Personal Became Political In Young The Giant's Album On Immigrant Experiences

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Members of Young the Giant. (Courtesy)
Members of Young the Giant. (Courtesy)

The members of Young the Giant met while growing up in California. Two of them are children of immigrants — from India and Iran. The other two are green card holders from Canada and Britain. The group, which will perform in Boston on Thursday, Sept. 14, explored the immigrant experience in America on its latest album, "Home of the Strange."

Lead singer Sameer Gadhia says while touring over the last 10 years, especially on college campuses, members of the band have witnessed a lot of heated rhetoric. And they've also heard things from other young first-generation Americans that resonate with them.

"They don't really feel like they belong to either place," Gadhia explains. "They don't feel like they are 100 percent the place where their ancestors are from. Like, I don't feel Indian when I go to India. And in the States, you know, I will never be just like a pure American. And in a lot of senses, I am. I mean, I'm an American citizen. I was born in Michigan and all that good stuff. But there's still something like I feel like every now and then I'm kind of, like, left out of the party in both places, and so the idea of 'Home of the Strange' is that place in between."

The band's most recent songs are about everything from hope to fear, and a belief in being able to make a better life for oneself in America. They were written before the presidential race — and talk surrounding immigration, a border wall and a travel ban — heated up. The songs are personal, but the album became political in the midst of the election and since.

Young the Giant is also experimenting more musically — with its most recent album having more electronic influences than the group's earlier recordings, though still trying to retain a rock foundation, Gadhia says.

Listen to Rita Cary's conversation about the band with WBUR's All Things Considered host Lisa Mullins by clicking the red player button atop this post. Hear more from Rita's interview with Gadhia below:

Young the Giant will perform at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 14.

This segment aired on September 13, 2017.


Headshot of Rita Cary

Rita Cary Announcer
Rita Cary was formerly a weekend announcer at WBUR. She came to public radio from Boston-area indie rock station WXRV.


Headshot of Lisa Mullins

Lisa Mullins Host, All Things Considered
Lisa Mullins is the voice of WBUR’s All Things Considered. She anchors the program, conducts interviews and reports from the field.


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Lynn Jolicoeur Producer/Reporter
Lynn Jolicoeur is the field producer for WBUR's All Things Considered. She also reports for the station's various local news broadcasts.



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