Young Buffalo
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Young Buffalo

Oxford, Mississippi, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Oxford, Mississippi, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Pop




""No Idea" (video) premiere on NPR's 'First Watch'"

"No Idea" (video) premiere on NPR's 'First Watch' - NPR

""House" album stream on SPIN"

"Falling somewhere between Mikal Cronin, the Beach Boys, and "Reptilia"-era Strokes. They've got an effervescent brand of pop/rock to lift spirits after a long day." - SPIN

"Album review on Popdose"

"If they were to stop now, they would have made an instant classic" - Popdose

"Sykia featured on NPR's Austin 100 artists to see at SxSW"

Sykia featured on NPR's Austin 100 artists to see at SxSW - NPR

""No Idea" audio premiere on Paste"

"the band has announced House, their debut full-length and a sure sign that their reputation for catchy tunes will remain upheld." - Paste

"Pure Volume Premiere of 'Sykia'"

"Pooling from the creative nature of their home and the distinct personality each musician presents, the indie rockers' debut album mixes the best elements from pop and rock to create a collection of infectious tunes" - Pure Volume

""My Place" audio premiere on Stereogum"

""My Place,” from the group’s upcoming debut album, builds to massive classic-rock harmonies over top of a space-age roots-rock groove, and the result could pass for an Allman Brothers/Flaming Lips composition if the sound wasn’t translucent in such a distinctly modern way" - Stereogum

"Clash Music Premiere of 'Sykia'"

The American South is a much mis-understood area.

A vast, sprawling mesh of towns, cities and states, the South harbours several liberal hubs under its conservative facade.

Oxford, Mississippi - or Ole Miss, as the residents refer to it - is a university town, a place where writers such as William Faulkner, Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, Tom Franklin and more gravitate towards.

Young Buffalo are part of this artistic scene, with their summer sunshine songwriting fusing glorious harmonies to power pop melodies.

The band's Dave Schiffman produced debut album will be released later this year, with new track 'Sykia' arriving online a few moments ago.

Revolving around a glistening guitar riff, there's an intelligence to the songwriting which can't be denied. - Clash Music

"Consequence of Sound 'Brian Eno' Cover Premiere"

Mississippi indie rock outfit Young Buffalo have been going strong since they were strolling the halls of junior high. Though the band didn’t officially form until guitarists Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett graduated, the two had been playing together in various configurations throughout their academic career. Since leaving school, they’ve gone on to open for the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and The Vaccines.

Now, they’re in the midst of reading their full-length debut for a February 2015 release. In the meantime, the pair is releasing a 10-inch, Brain One, on September 30th via Votiv Records. The vinyl-only release will be available exclusively through indie retailers and at the band’s various tour dates. As a teaser, Young Buffalo have shared their cover of Brian Eno’s classic “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More”.

Young Buffalo’s interpretation of the track retains the obscurity of Eno’s original, but with even more reckless abandon. The track opens with Beach Boys-style harmonies cooing dreamily over sparse drums before launching into a full-on guitar assault. Eno’s signature guitar riff zips back and forth rapidly, acting as the frantic undercurrent for Barrett’s distorted and feverish vocals. Even if it does eventually become a far cry from Eno’s original vision, the track is imbued with a sonic curiosity that would make the ambient overlord quite proud. - Consequence of Sound

"Paste Magazine 'Upstairs' Video Premier"

Oxford, Miss. duo Young Buffalo recently released a self-titled EP on Votiv Records. The band, which combines afro-beat and indie elements, has been playing and recording sporadically since emerging from the University of Mississippi’s music scene in 2009. Their latest effort marks a step toward maturity and a more cohesive sound.

“Two years ago I would’ve [said] we’re going to win Grammys and
tour the world,” notes member Jim Barrett. “Now that’s just bullshit. I just want to be able to tour and make records. Anything else is a bonus. I just want an excuse not to be
a caterer full time.”

One of their new EP’s standout tracks is “Upstairs,” the video for which we’re proud to premiere for you below. - Paste Magazine

"Connect Savannah - Show Preview"

One of the highlights of the first Savannah Stopover, in 2011, Young Buffalo returns this year with an incredibly strong EP jammed with sharp, pop–tinged rock 'n' roll — this is a band that piledrives and plants hooks virtually simultaneously.

On that first visit, there were three young Buffs. This time around, it's just Jim Barrett and Ben Yarbrough, switching off on guitars and basses, plus a touring drummer and keyboard guy.

Longtime buds from Oxford, Miss., Barrett and Yarbrough have been singing and playing together since their middle school days.

Barrett admits that straddling the fence between hard rock and harmony comes naturally to him. "My mom's records included a lot of Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and musicals," he tells us. "So from an early age I was drawn more to stuff that's easy on the ears. By high school I started listening to Led Zeppelin and a bunch of harder shit. Once me and Ben started playing, we were really big into Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth.

"So it's a little bit of both of those worlds — really easy on ya, and catchy, and the opposite side, getting a little noisy once in a while."

We invite you to listen to "Upstairs," from the band's self–titled EP. Don't take our word for it. This is a creative duo.

Young Buffalo's live show tends to me a bit more ... well, ragged than the records.

"Depending on the kind of show, and the sound I guess, sometimes it's like straining to get over the ruckus," Barrett laughs. "Sometimes it works; sometimes Ben and I mesh well. And sometimes you can't hear anything, and you ask somebody after the show and they say 'Well, you were a little shaky on a couple of those.'"

And that's a good thing, spontaneity and all. A cornerstone of live rock 'n' roll performance. - Connect Savannah

"Rock Edition - What's In a Name"

This indie duo from Mississippi may have finally saved every exhausted and bitterly ill-tempered Star Wars fan from witnessing once again the legendary term "Young Padawan" fall carelessly and casually from the lips of those unable to identify a single star system. Granted, the name Young Buffalo summons up more the ethereal vision of fallen Indian races than The Force, but there's still nothing wrong with encouraging your buddies with the ancient Native American symbol for survival, peace, and abundance. Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett's latest self-titled EP explores the refined yet celestial intonations of Grizzly Bear with the wit and excitement of Thunderclap Newman and Vampire Weekend; creating a sound as transcendental and sanguine as the prided animal within their name. Though, with all this talk of heavenly symbols and chords, it is important to note that nothing is more esoteric than what the duo originally intended for their alias. Young Buffalo's Jim Barrett explains the band's initial ideas below.

Who came up with the band name?
It was a nickname I used to have for Ben; just stumbled across it really. I used to text him about practicing and called him Young Buffalo.

Was there a selection process?
Not really. We had to come up with a name for our first show, and thankfully we didn't end up going through a whole bunch of different options. It felt quite a natural fit.

What's the best name that you considered but rejected?
Zsa Zsa.

What's the worst name that you considered using?
Zsa Zsa.

Any regrets about the name you chose?
None at all! Why, should we? - Rock Edition

"Prefixmag 'Baby Demons' Video Premier"

The new video from Mississippi duo Young Buffalo draws punk rock antics deep into the woods. In the video for "Baby Demons", the first track off the group's rollicking self-titled EP, Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett burn bonfires, paint their faces, and sip what looks like jarred Mountain Dew in front of an old tombstone. It's all terribly pagan, but we can't say it doesn't look like fun.

We're happy to premiere the video for "Baby Demons", the second set of visuals off the EP after "Upstairs".

The Young Buffalo EP was released Oct. 26 via Votiv. Stream it in full on Bandcamp or purchase it from iTunes. - Prefixmag

"AOL/Spinner 'Upstairs' Video of the Day"

"This is the sorta dark/weird video we did with Jonny Kight directing, for our single 'Upstairs' from our self-titled EP," singer Jim Barret tells Spinner. "We wanted to try something unique and dark for our upbeat, happy single." -

"AOL/Spinner 'Upstairs' Video of the Day"

"This is the sorta dark/weird video we did with Jonny Kight directing, for our single 'Upstairs' from our self-titled EP," singer Jim Barret tells Spinner. "We wanted to try something unique and dark for our upbeat, happy single." -

"Under The Gun Review"

If all of the pens in my house ran dry and I could only scratch one word to describe Young Buffalo, persnickety would be the word I would scribble down. This isn’t actually because the band is persnickety. The words flawless, epic, catching, hipster and dance-hall all seem to describe the band more effectively. However, since I really like the word persnickety, in a pen drought, I’m going with that.

However, due to the inventions of modern wonders like computers and the internet, my word limit will know no bounds and my sentence structure will flow like drunken conversation at the corner bar.

But that is enough about me. Let’s talk for a minute about you.

You should be listening to Young Buffalo.

Don’t feel bad if you aren’t, I wasn’t. I too, had missed the memo on this band completely. I snagged them as part of bundle deal in order to review the new Green Day album. At the end of the day, Young Buffalo turned out to be the better end of that bargain.

With the combination of vintage swagger and straight forward structure, the band’s self-titled EP proves that glitter and tech tricks aren’t always a vital element in world exposure. Take for example the album’s closing track “Upstairs;” Free of frills, the track is placed perfectly to sneak slowly into your soul and take residence in your head. The structures are as addicting as sweets to a diabetic. Listeners will find themselves whistling the infectious guitar hooks hours after the EP has subsided. Placed flawlessly under the backwoods, alt-country vocals this standout track demands attention. More importantly however is the fact that the attention is actually deserved.

This trend is indicative of the album as a whole. Aspects of each track concurs any inability for a listener to put up walls. “Prize” possesses calm, 1980’s Breakfast Club qualities that could make M83 swoon. “Hold Me Back” takes a dance-like, Vampire Weekend approach to songwriting, shifting and twitching through the three and a half minute energy burst. “Natural Boy”, however, creates its own indie-pop township governed by the likes of James Mercer. With colorful oh’s fluttering throughout the piece, the song sets an almost impossible standard of happiness (audio-wise at least) matched only by boxes of kittens and tiny baby ducks.

Yeah, I said it. Baby ducks.

As a whole, Young Buffalo’s self-titled EP is as close to flawless as extended plays come. If the preview is any indication of material to come from these very young Votiv pups, I expect world takeover and international success. However, they’ve set the bar pretty high for themselves. Look for this cut to remain lingering in my player for chunks of time and for the release to appear in my best of 2012 list. - Under The Gun

"Listen Up...It's Young Buffalo"

They may not look old enough to tie their own shoes, but don’t let that fool you: what Young Buffalo lack in years, they more than make up for with their music.

Hailing from Oxford Mississippi (Google it), the three-piece boast the kind of catchy melodies and sing-along choruses that made Fleet Foxes music industry darlings way back in the heady days of 2008. Yet, thankfully, songs like ‘Three Deep’ and ‘Catapilah’, which you can a demo of below, also come armed with the type of grit you’d expect from a band desperately trying to break out of town with just 19,000 inhabitants.

The band are currently recording their debut album with Kyle Johnson (Wavves, Cymbals Eat Guitars) in time for a 2011 release. And if we’re honest, that moment couldn’t come any sooner.

Young Buffalo - 'Catapillah':

- Gigwise

"Young Buffalo - Free Track"

Young Buffalo hail from Oxford, Mississippi and are about to make big waves with an upcoming show at New York music festival CMJ. They are signed to Fat Possum Records and are seemingly destined for big things.

They are also very lovely apparently, as they are giving away this great track "Three Deep" over at their website. So give it a listen, download it, listen to some demos at their bandcamp site, and let me know what you think yeah? I am expecting to hear a lot more from them in the coming months.

- The Ruckus

"My Lazy Saturday is cracked, but it looks like it’s healing."

You know how much we love Young Buffalo. They're the truth. I've gone a whole bunch of different directions to describe the sound; in fact, I'm a bit tapped on the descriptors, so I'll stick you with my favorite old line: Young Buffalo sounds like Graceland making love to The Byrds. Their debut is coming out on Fat Possum in early 2011; we've got the first track they;ve made public below. For those of you who've been on this train since the beginning, it won't disappoint. I'm not going to tell you my favorite five seconds of the cut; you'll figure it out on your own.

- Citizen Dick

"Young Buffalo"

Sup bros. So I've had this random ass cd-r in my car for awhile.Caught it at a local show a month or so ago. Pretty bitchin band from Oxford, MS that I'd like to share with y'all. They call themselves "Young Buffalo." Lots of buffalo these days (avi buffalo, king buffalo, new buffalo, and whatnot), but these guys have to be my favorite. Solid South. Represent. - Blalocks Indie/Rock Playlist


Music by Young Buffalo - Wondersnaps

"Young Buffalo Live"

Young Buffalo Live at Proud Larry's
with The Whigs on Thursday, January 21

Band members (and instruments):
Alex von Hardberger (21): Guitar, Bass, Keys, Vocals
Jim Barrett (19): Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals
Ben Yarbrough (18): Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals

How did you meet each other and when did you first decide to create a band?
Jim and Ben met in the 8th grade and have been playing music together ever since. In the summer of 2009, Jim began jamming with Alex. Soon after they asked Ben to join in and Young Buffalo was born.

Describe your musical style/genre: Jangle Rock / Jungle Pop.

Favorite musicians/bands?
Alex: Neutral Milk Hotel, Jeff Buckley, My Bloody Valentine
Ben: David Bowie, The Smiths, Jimi Hendrix
Jim: Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Animal Collective, Panda Bear

Are you all from Oxford?
Jim and Ben are from Oxford. Alex is originally from Louisiana though he claims Oxford as his adopted home.

Have any of you attended school for music?
Alex is currently attending Ole Miss for his vocal music education degree. Jim is minoring in music. Ben doesn’t need school to know how to rock.

Where do you practice? We practice in a room upstairs at Jim’s house.

Have you ever been hassled for practicing? Nope, not yet.

We love the songs on the “Catapilah” demo and “Speak EZ” (both available for listen on MySpace). Where did you record these tracks?
We recorded a half of the songs on the Catapilah demo at our friend Jesse Pinion’s home studio and the other half at Jim’s house. Speak EZ was also recorded at Jim’s house and mastered in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Do you have plans to record more soon? Inquiring fans want to know!
We are planning on recording in February to have an EP out in Spring/Summer of 2010.

It looks like you have some dates in New York City and up the east coast coming up this month. Can you tell us more about your tour?
Yeah, we are starting at the Hi-Tone in Memphis on the 9th of January and continuing through Atlanta, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, and possibly North Carolina. We are ready to get out on the road for our first tour, and we’re excited about coming home to open for The Whigs on the 21st at Proud Larry’s.

Got a website?
We have a MySpace,, and are also in the process of setting up a Web site.

Young Buffalo’s Winter 2010 tour ends up back in Oxford at Proud Larry’s on January 21, when they’ll be opening for The Whigs—rockers from Athens, Georgia. Don’t miss what’s sure to be a great show!
- The Local Voice

"Hypeworthy...Introducing Young Buffalo"

There isn't much gab out there about Oxford, Mississippi's Young Buffalo, with the exception of the apparently keen eyes over at Citizen Dick that spotted the band's talents about a week ago (now if they were a record label they'd have made a good investment, a.k.a attn labels: sign this band). Now what about the music?

[MP3] Young Buffalo - New Beat
Ctz. Dick made the apt suggestion that Young Buffalo sound a bit like something Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes) would conjure up, perhaps in the middle of some crisis of identity and purpose in which he lost the will for Americana and picked up a few notes from Sting, or Fela Kuti even. "New Beat", with its pastoral intro and manic vocal harmonies, highlights a band that's willing to lay down all pretense and exposition for the sake of its art. Their myspace bio pretty much says it all: "Goal 1: make good music. Goal 2: not be doosh-like." How refreshing is that?

[MP3] Young Buffalo - Catapilah
Young Buffalo started recording in June and so far have produced one four-song demo which includes the two songs above. You can listen to the other two at their myspace. You can bet there's a debut in the pipeline, but here's hoping a little blog-love (that they so desperately deserve) might get the ball a-rollin' a bit sooner. We'll keep you posted for sure.
- I Guess I'm Floating

"Speak EZ"

It should come as little surprise that it was the lightning rod of everything hot and heavy, TwoSyllable, who turned us onto their newest signees Young Buffalo. The Mississippi trio crossbreed a myriad of Graceland-esque polyrhythms, Fela Kuti township beats, ambling southern R&B vocals and gospel harmonies with such effortless exuberance and radiant charm that even my Mum’s ears pricked up whilst she was looking for something to be annoyed with me about (love you Mum!). This January sundance really is working. And any band that namechecks R. Kelly in their influences is down with us. As customary they will have releases out in the coming months but in the meantime enjoy one of their handful of demos already floating around. - Transparent Blog

"New Beat - Young Buffalo Live Session"

It's been a long time since we heard anything from the still Hypeworthy Oxford, MS, based trio Young Buffalo, but we're excited to announce a few brand new album tidbits... but first, here's a new live in-studio session video for their song "New Beat"

Young Buffalo have just began recording their still untitled debut album, due out January 2011 on Fat Possum Records (home to Wavves, The Walkmen, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird and many others). If you're in the Southeastern part of the US, you can catch them on tour this August (dates here).
- I Guess I'm Floating

"Live Review from That Music"

"an upbeat and pleasant experimental sound." - That Music Magazine

"Clash Music Review"

"there's an intelligence to the songwriting which can't be denied." - Clash Music

"Sykia (Video) Premiere"

Video premiere of Sykia - Line Of Best Fit

"Burning Airlines Give You So Much More (Brian Eno Cover) Premiere"

"Young Buffalo's interpretation of the track retains the obscurity of Eno's original, but with even more reckless abandon" - Consequence of Sound

"Sykia (Live Video) Premiere on Baeble Music"

"The video spotlights their ability to sound just as good, if not better than a mastered album." - Baeble Music

"My Place - Audio Premiere"

""My Place,” from the group’s upcoming debut album, builds to massive classic-rock harmonies over top of a space-age roots-rock groove, and the result could pass for an Allman Brothers/Flaming Lips composition if the sound wasn’t translucent in such a distinctly modern way" - Stereogum

""Burning Airlines Give You So Much More (Brian Eno Cover) Premiere on Consequence of Sound"

"Young Buffalo's interpretation of the track retains the obscurity of Eno's original, but with even more reckless abandon" - Consequence of Sound

""Sykia" live video premiere on Baeble Music"

"The video spotlights their ability to sound just as good, if not better than a mastered album." - Baeble Music


House (Votiv 3/3/2015)

Young Buffalo EP (Votiv 2012)

Young Von Prettylips EP(Cantora Records 2011)

Catapilah(Young & Lost Club 2011)



There's nothing typical about the Oxford, Mississippi-based rock act Young Buffalo or the story behind their debut album, House. Although the group's songwriters Ben Yarbrough and Jim Barrett didn't begin playing under the Young Buffalo moniker until 2009, they started writing music together as teenagers and never ceased evolving. The band—which now also features drummer Tim Burkhead, bassist Andrew Guinn and keyboardist Will Eubanks—couldn't be more excited to share their debut album House, an 11-track album produced by Dave Schiffman (Haim, Weezer) that establishes the five-piece act as a band that’s as unique as the town where they were conceived.

To hear it from the band, Oxford, MS is an arts town. Always has been, probably always will be. “Oxford has been a literary town basically since William Faulkner was around in the 40's 50's and 60's.  Authors like Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, Tom Franklin, Jack Pendarvis, and a slew of other literary greats called or still call Oxford home.  With the writing comes painting, and then hand in hand-- the music.“ Barrett explains. Because of that great literary history and the fact Oxford is the home of the infamous University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) the town breeds contradictions. “Oxford, being a college town, tends to bring in more music and also a lot of cool, different-minded folks that probably wouldn't find themselves in the northern hills of Mississippi if not for a job or an education at Ole Miss.  That being said, there's definitely a scene that we don't really fit into at all. Sometimes we get hassled by frat guys for having long hair and tight pants or whatever, but then their girlfriends come to our shows.”

It is through those societal differences and the five distinct personalities within the band, that House’s musical identity begins to take shape. “I honestly think folks will find this album refreshing because it’s a straight up collaboration that has been growing for ten years now and I think you can hear that here,” Barrett explains. “When we're writing it's never calculated, we just start playing together and see what happens and sometimes we're even surprised by the final result ourselves," Yarbrough adds. "We aren't afraid to take chances so there is never that thought of 'Oh, this doesn't sound like Young Buffalo.’ This is just who we are.”

And House showcases those varying personalities perfectly. From the shimmering pop of "No Idea" to harmony-rich anthems like "Black Eye" and breezy energy of "Old Soul," the songs on House see Young Buffalo embracing their pop roots while expanding the arrangements. They fill out the instrumentation with singing synth lines and unique syncopation that propel these songs into uncharted territory. "We really tried to just tighten everything up and trim the fat and really get to the core of what made these songs work without all the extraneous stuff," Yarbrough explains, adding that although some of these songs had been written over the past few years they gained a vibrant new life in the studio.

Although House is teeming with infectious melodies and upbeat instrumentation, Barrett's lyrics were inspired by real life heartbreak. "A lot of my writing went back to how I felt when a high school sweetheart broke up with me and I went through a depression for a little while so the lyrical tone isn't super happy," he admits. Alternately a song like 'No Idea' is about stepping outside of your comfort zone and leaving your hometown to follow your dreams. Even as the heart-on-sleeve story telling is evident, the content on House is still ambiguous enough for listeners to draw their own meanings and interpretations to the songs. In keeping with the ongoing theme, the album may contain some dark subject matter but it's always presented in a way that's inherently relatable and heartfelt. Riding that line between straight ahead pop music and tastefully weird indie rock.

 There’s a timeless nature to House that sees it referencing the past while still remaining irrevocably relevant today. “When we’re writing we always want it to be something that we would want to listen to in the car or put on at a party.” Barrett explains. “We’re really honest with ourselves when it comes to what we create and that’s ultimately what keeps us interested to keep pushing forward,” he summarizes.

 With the good fortune of these five gentlemen being birthed in such a fantastically diverse city, both artistically and culturally, we are just thankful they decided to follow their musical hearts and form Young Buffalo. They are no doubt on their way to establishing themselves as one of indie rock's brightest hopes.

Band Members