Young Doctors in Love …’in Love’

The Toronto, Canada based sextet Young Doctors in Love are set to elevate their profile considerably with the release of their sophomore full length …in Love, a twelve song follow-up to their 2014 debut World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band. Loosely inspired by Thomas Pynchon’s novel V, Clay Puddester’s songwriting radiates intelligence and intense musicality at every turn without ever succumbing to self-indulgence. It’s a notable achievement on an album focused on pop and synth fueled artifice – Puddester’s songwriting gives lie to the idea that pop structures cannot accommodate serious art while still providing his audience with a thoroughly entertaining listening experience.


The album’s debut single “Julianna” exemplifies …in Love’s strengths and has a video clip further underlying the track’s merits. They definitely cut from a different cloth than a raft of their contemporaries; the fact they are a band with six capable singers is a singular achievement few others can match and a duo of lead singers, Stephanie Matos and Melissa Peters, share a bond as vocalist few other tandems readily match. Clay Puddester, guitarist and primary songwriter for the band, doesn’t neglect the musical side of the equation however. The video does an excellent job embodying the aural energy that’s a hallmark of the band’s recordings.

Two songs named “Jamie” back to back with only an exclamation point separating the two titles. There’s a vast difference in running time as well The first “Jamie”, however, isn’t filler despite its sub-two minute duration – instead, it gives listeners a dynamic contrast with the much more overt pop stylings of its counterpart “Jamie!”. Young Doctors in Love are clear opponents of wasting listener’s time and few songs on the album bear that more than the two and a half minutes of goodness comprising “Jodie”. They have a penchant for memorable choruses that pays off big with this cut.

“Could It Be That We’re Falling In Love?” comes on with the same buoyant uplift typifying many of the song’s on …in Love and the bright step in Clay Puddester’s guitar is an important piece in the puzzle. The rhythm section of bassist Sam Mackenzie and drummer Nick Shao simmer from the first and give the song a muscular heartbeat that never wanes. The penultimate tune and true climax for the album, the nearly ten minute long “You Give Me All Your Love (And It’ll Be Alright)”, breaks with the album’s template in a big way, particularly regarding length, and the dynamic spectrum for this song is unlike anything we’ve heard on the album to this point. It’s another testament to the clarity of vision the band has for this release. It’s a perfectly realized moment artistically.


Young Doctors in Love, in another era, would be well on their way towards becoming household names. Don’t abandon hope this won’t happen in 2019. The powerful confluence of Matos’ and Peters’ vocal talents, songwriter Clay Puddester’s musicianship and acumen for translating traditional forms into his own personal language, shape a musical vehicle that looks back with respect but forward as well with fierce individuality. …in Love is a powerfully driven and deceptively ambitious recorded work and one gets the feeling, after hearing it a few times, that we have scarcely scratched the surface of Young Doctors in Love’s talents.

Gwen Waggoner