Late last year, the band, made up of guitarist Jake Hertzog and bassist Mitch Kaneff, locked themselves in Kaneff's apartment for "nearly four straight months" writing an eclectic batch of tunes they intended to record with a selection of guest vocalists as diverse as the songs themselves.
In fact, their most recent single, "Never Far Away," featured a performance from Southern California rapper Kali and was produced by Ruwanga Samath of Beyonce and Norah Jones fame.
"We wanted to take advantage of the freedom we have as independent songwriters," Hertzog says. And take advantage they have.
Just over a month ago, the Young Presidents arrived at New York City's One East Studio to watch Living Colour's Corey Glover lay down vocals on two songs written during the stint in Kaneff's apartment.
There's a lot of history in the wood-paneled walls at One East, with everyone from David Lee Roth to Sheryl Crow to the Beastie Boys recording here under the watchful eye of some of the world's top producers.
Manning the boards for this particular session is none other than Rob Fraboni, a producer whose extensive resume includes an all-star cast of clients, including the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Band and Eric Clapton, not to mention overseeing the remastering of the Bob Marley catalog as VP of Island Records.
"The Young Presidents are an exciting band and a perfect match for the vocal prowess of Corey Glover," Fraboni said. "The combination is especially exciting in the light of their new material, which will showcase everyone involved."
"Unacceptable You" is anchored by an absolutely infectious bassline by Kaneff, one that made Glover's eyes light up upon hearing it for the first time, as if to say, "Man, this guy knows what he's doing!" Add Hertzog's swirling, jazz-funk guitar over top, and you've got a song that seems a perfect fit for the Living Colour vocalist.
Glover met with the Young Presidents briefly to get a feel for the song's message, with Fraboni offering some suggestions to streamline the lyrics a bit and make sure the point gets driven home. Even though the track was inspired by a very specific situation, the band are hoping that by taking a more universal, gender-neutral approach to the lyrics, anyone will be able to relate to their own "psycho" with "no sense of self-restraint."
After listening back to the track a couple of times and getting a feel for the vocal melody, Corey was ready to step behind the mic and make the song his own.
It took about four takes for Glover to really turn it on, and once he did, it was all smiles in the control room. Glover's choice accents and the powerful, soulful moments where his voice cracks ever so slightly add an unmistakable energy to the track, one that may have even surprised the band themselves. "Some of the stuff you're doing is better than what I envision," Hertzog said over the studio intercom, "Run with it!"
He ran with it. And here are the results: