Drawing inspiration everywhere from gardening, human relationships, and the news, Whenyoung have paved their own path through the complex indie terrain.
The Irish outfit’s guitar-fused tunes springs from a sense of freedom. When talking to frontwoman Aoife Power, it’s clear that it’s the love for music that is the primary driving force behind the band. Opening up about her musical background, she tells about a childhood shaped by traditional Irish music. “First I started with the tin whistle, then playing the fiddle. I didn’t have any formal training for the bass, I just got into it through the love of music”.
The trio were united through the small indie scene in the Irish town Limerick. Upon moving to London, they soon started jamming “for something to do”, then decided that the band was something they wanted to pursue intesely. Only a year in the making, they’ve already bagged some pretty prestigious warm up gigs. “We’re going on tour with Dream Wife and Peace, and we’re doing a Vaccines show at Ally Pally,” Aoife says. “Every time we play we kind of borrow from other people and how they perform”.
With a name taken straight from Whipping Boy’s ‘When We Were Young’, their Irish musical heritage is kept alive. Yet, their collective love for the cult-classic, also stems from the timeless fascination with youth. “You’re so innocent and hopeful when you’re younger”, Aoife reflects. “We really like that idea that anything seems possible when you’re young.”
They may borrow from fellow acts live, yet their biggest inspirations is far older. The exhilarating edge of New York in the 70s scene carried that certain feel Whenyoung draw on. “It looked like this amazing fun and you can really hear it in the music. It’s exciting, and a bit dangerous.” And it’s not only the fun that Aoife appreciates, the unpretentious approach also allowed for beautiful mistakes and hidden gems. “It makes it so that you can really relate to the music more, I think, when it’s not too clean.”
This way of relating also carries through to the lyrics, which Aoife admits can be “quite personal”. “It’s important to have a voice and to have an opinion.” Elaborating how writing about the news can capture a moment in time, Aoife reflects: “That’s what I really like about other bands that write about something that’s going on in the world, you know what decade it’s from.”
As well as being a musician, Aoife also worked as a gardener. “I was actually gardening yesterday”, she laughs. “I love plant. Just being outside and working with the soil.” The perhaps unexpected job still feeds into Whenyoung. “Gardening helps the music as well. Nature can inspire lyrics, clear your head and make you have ideas.”
Heading out to find a location for a music video shoot as we speak, it is clear that Whenyoung keep themselves busy. Aiming for an EP release around summer, you’ll definitely hear more from the Irish trio.
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Words: Aurora Henni Krogh
Catch Whenyoung at the following shows:
20 Bristol The Exchange (with Dream Wife)
21 London Heaven (with Dream Wife)
24 Manchester Deaf Institute (with Dream Wife)
25 Dublin Workman's Club (with Dream Wife)
5 London Forum (with Declan Mckenna)
6 Manchester Academy (with Declan Mckenna)
14 London Alexandra Palace (with The Vaccines)
Whenyoung will play Live At Leeds on May 5th.
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