Young Legends

Album: Bitter Rivals (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Alexis Krauss croons almost impatiently on this song's hook: "Young legends die all the time. But I don't mind. Don't close your eyes." Guitarist Derek Miller told NME: "The chorus, lyrically, it means a lot to me. It's about all the people who have some talent that they never get to develop. This record deals with that a lot."

    He added: "For me, if I never met Alexis, I think about that all the time and how different and painful and frustrating my life would be if I couldn't do this with her. It's so easily I could not have met her, it's a freak occurrence that I met her. I have an enormous amount of empathy for people out there like me. I knew I could make these records, I just need to find that person. I was lucky enough to do it, I was very lucky. Most people don't. It's winning the lottery. These people are so great but maybe they're just never even discovered and it's just eats them alive. It was eating me alive. I was going nuts and then I finally met her and started working so hard because it was like 'Oh my god it happened. Alright, let's fu--ing go.' Yeah, that's what that songs about."
  • The Sleigh Bells duo were listening to a lot of '80s R&B whilst recording Bitter Rivals, which fed through into this song. Krauss admitted to Stereogum: "It's definitely an R&B song. We were really thrilled with the results but we were also at one point like, 'Can we do this? Should this be a song we write for another artist? Is this really a Sleigh Bells song?' But when we recorded 'Kids' for Treats we had the same reaction. We thought we would save it and it could be someone else's song because we didn't think we could pull it off. I think that we do our best work when we feel kind of vulnerable and are unsure how people will receive it."
  • The song is built around a distorted nylon string. Miller explained to NME: "I would take them through this modified preamp called Telefunkin. We just kind of fried it out. It's not super distorted, but it's a hell of a lot cleaner than it is sitting in a room playing it. I was listening to Thriller, Bad and Off the Wall a lot and hopefully some of those records rubbed off on it a little bit. Especially with the horn riff. I latched on to that. It's my version of a horns section, or a brass section. Like software, soft-synths, and just regular fu--ed nasty, gritty synth sounds. That was one of the few chorus ideas that came from me, the phrasing and the melody, and she tweaked it and added this four-part harmony."

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