You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Songs for Screens: Young & Sick Premieres ’70s-Centric Track ‘Letting Go of Giving Up’

Songs for Screens is a Variety column sponsored by music experiential agency MAC Presents, based in NYC. It is written by Andrew Hampp, founder of music marketing consultancy 1803 LLC and former correspondent for Billboard. Each week, the column will highlight noteworthy use of music in advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as new and catalog songs that we deem ripe for synch use.

As an in-demand visual artist, Nick van Hofwegen has seen his original work commissioned by the likes of Foster the People and Maroon 5 for their album covers, as well as brands including Rag & BoneBucketfeet and MeUndies.

But as alt-pop artist Young & Sick, van Hofwegen has been making stylish, ’70s-inspired music for the past five years, including a 2014 full-length for Capitol subsidiary Harvest Records. The project reached its biggest exposure to date in April when Apple featured Young & Sick’s recent track “Ojai” for its latest Apple Watch ad.

Young & Sick’s latest single, “Letting Go of Giving Up,” which Songs For Screens is premiering exclusively, sounds poised for a similarly large-scale platform. The song kicks off with a twinkling piano and dewy-eyed Todd Rundgren-esque vocal before revving up for a stadium-rock chorus that drives its motivational message home. (Listen below.)

“The music industry is a weird and hard place to be in and not complain about something. It’s a strange group of people doing a strange group of things,” says van Hofwegen, who returned to music with January’s “Ojai” EP after a three-year hiatus. “The song is sort of a theme to exactly that, to not give up hope on making music and making art, even though there’s low points and it gets a little harder.”

“Letting Go” follows on the heels of June’s “No Static” as the second track to preview his second 2018 EP with Young & Sick, out August 17, which shares a similar sentiment. “It’s part of a running theme to boost myself up and make the best art I could,” says von Hofwegen, who will play his first U.S. headline show since 2014 at L.A.’s Moroccan Lounge on Wednesday (July 25.) “Music and art really constantly battle each other in a really positive way. I’m about to do an art show in Los Angeles for the first time, which making music pushed me to do. I’ve been making a lot of non-client work on bigger canvasses from guitar cases to bigger pieces of driftwood to a lot of different mediums.”

Now that he’s found a new groove with music, and indie label B3SCI Records, van Hofwegen hopes his songs can land a synch on one of his favorite TV dramas set in the Me Decade. “I love ‘The Deuce,’ everything from the title [credits] track to all the music in that show. Also ‘I’m Dying Up Here,’ the music really pushes that show along. If one of my songs could live in that world, that would make my year — if not my life.”

More Music

  • Neyla Pekarek

    Watch Neyla Pekarek's Michel Gondry-Inspired Cardboard Kitsch Video (EXCLUSIVE)

    Neyla Pekarek’s post-Lumineers solo career is off to a strong start with a show at the Opry at the Ryman on Saturday night and the Monday release of her new video for the song “Train.” The clip was directed by Los Angeles’ Liza Nelson and features Pekarek riding a cardboard constructed locomotive in a look reminiscent [...]

  • Benny Andersson, Anni Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha

    Abba’s New Music Delayed Until Later This Year

    Abba fans rejoiced last April when the group, which split up 35 years ago, announced that they had recorded two new songs for a “Virtual Abba” experience in collaboration with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller. The project first announced in 2016, and was scheduled to premiere, via digital versions of band members, on NBC and ABC [...]

  • Erykah Badu Attempts to Clarify Her ‘Prayer’

    Erykah Badu Attempts to Clarify Her ‘Prayer’ for R. Kelly

    Erykah Badu took to Twitter Sunday night in an attempt to clarify her “prayer” for R. Kelly, which she spoke about during a Saturday concert in Chicago. “I don’t know how everybody else feels about it but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R.,” she said to the crowd before referencing the longstanding [...]

  • Harry Connick Jr.

    Harry Connick Jr. Swears Off Super Bowl After Saints Defeat

    Tempers flared during today’s NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams at the Super Dome after a controversial non-call on a potential pass interference penalty and head-to-head hit by L.A. defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman, who slammed into Saints pass receiver  Tommylee Lewis on a crucial third-down play. The ref’s decision [...]

  • Editorial use only. No merchandising.Mandatory Credit:

    Lady Gaga Slams Government Shutdown, Mike Pence at Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga took a short break from singing “Million Reasons” at her Saturday performance of “Enigma” in Las Vegas to slam the president for the continued government shutdown. While sitting at the piano for her performance, Gaga broke into a takedown of the government shutdown and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in the [...]

  • maggie rogers

    Album Review: Maggie Rogers' 'Heard It in a Past Life'

    Maggie Rogers earned one of those very rare “Saturday Night Live” slots in which a musical guest is booked onto the show well in advance of her major label debut album’s release — two and a half months prior, in this case. And the scrutiny of such an appearance is not always pretty. Rogers’ “SNL” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content