Blame My Youth (Sean Van Vleet) has dropped his first single “Fantastic,” a perfectly-crafted modern rock banger permeated by seductive pop hooks and sheer audacity. And while Blame My Youth is a name you might not be aware of, chances are you have unknowingly heard in him your headphones, in a store or on a television. As a former principal songwriter in Chicago indie faves Empires, Van Vleet expanded into the world of songwriting and syncs, providing music for major artists, and ads worldwide. Blame My Youth is Van Vleet’s return to the band format, bringing all of the earworm-y grandiosity that permeated his quietly complicated pop gems. “With this song I get to tell the story of my life in about 2 minutes.” Says Van Vleet. “The first lines of the chorus hit my brain one morning like a mainline of coffee, I got instant PMA. Got me out of bed feeling refreshed. Fantastic set the tone for a lot of good days, even if I was feeling bad.”
The video for “Fantastic” was directed by Nathan R. Smith and is a Trainspotting influenced combination of some of Blame My Youth’s favorite 90’s rock music videos. The story follows Sean through a hungover haze as he makes his way through the city. The song debuted on SiriusXM’s Alt Nation.
“Fantastic” was produced by Joey Moi (Morgan Wallen, HARDY), who just topped Billboard’s top producers list. It is the follow up to “Right Where You Belong,” which was written and recorded exclusively for the soundtrack to Bill And Ted Face The Music and marked the debut of Blame My Youth. It plays during the film’s closing credits and to date has close to 30K streams on Spotify.
Sean Van Vleet came up in Empires, a Chicago based indie band with several successful releases, an appearance on David Letterman and massive festival appearances like Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and more during tours with Death Cab for Cutie, Deerhunter, Alkaline Trio and others. After Empires called it quits in 2015, he connected with friend Josh Ocean (NVDES) to build an impenetrable musical bond that has seen their explosive “laptop punk” find its way into placements amongst the likes of Samsung, Google and Apple iPhone advertisements.
As Van Vleet was writing the first Blame My Youth songs he shared them with close friends including some of the people he worked with along the way – a crew mostly renowned for their time in Nashville – Big Loud’s Seth England, Craig Wiseman and Moi. They have long wanted to collaborate and while Big Loud primarily work in the country music space, there was no denying that Blame My Youth was something special, and they quickly signed Sean to their new label imprint Big Loud Rock. “I met them all 10 years ago,” recalls Van Vleet. “Not only are we really good friends, but I think we all knew that we would eventually work on something awesome together. It’s just about the right timing.”
With Blame My Youth, Van Vleet is showcasing his overwhelmingly feelgood approach with nods to Andrew WK’s brazenly positive big bang and Post Malone’s inescapable pop sensibility, all with touches of darkness and vulnerability throughout. It’s music meant for maximum volume while recovering from a life on maximum volume, yet so earnest, singular and inescapable that it relates to anyone who has fought through any sort of adversity.