image: Wild Promotions

Dreamy vocals and a pop-punk trio: an interview with whenyoung

What started as a mutual love for The Maccabees, has spiralled over the past few years. Just as they were about to take to the Brixton Academy stage, whenyoung reflected on touring across America, and their excitement for the release of Reasons to Dream, their debut album.

Before the release of Reasons to Dream, the pop-punk trio have found themselves halfway through a headline tour that runs either side of supporting Sundara Karma. Speaking before taking their place on the Brixton Academy stage, the band were in good spirits I spoke to them as they reflected on their trip to the US and how they were taken back by the response they got across the three-week tour.

“We went to New York not knowing if five people were going to turn up, but the place was packed” said guitarist Niall Burns. “The response [to our music] was so positive and enthusiastic.” Amongst sets in LA, and playing at SXSW Festival, the Irish trio found their place in the fractured New York art scene. It was “brilliant” interjects vocalist Aoife Power. “We’re obsessed with the 70’s New York Culture,” she said, “if you listen to us you properly can’t hear it, but for us, it’s part of our ethos”. She goes on to say that “as an artistic movement it’s something so beautiful” and that scene was so “admirable”, having an influence on their music.

Now back in London, and touring with Sundara Karma, the band have been playing at venues across the UK. The trio talked about the energy the crowds have bought to their sets over the past few weeks. “It feels like it’s been one of the best tours we’ve done”, says drummer Andrew Flood, “the crowds have crossed over really well and enjoyed our music.” Guitarist Niall Burns jumps in, “the Sundara crowd have been incredible…we just can’t wait to perform the songs in the summer once they’ve been released”.

The album centres on the trio’s experience of moving away from Ireland

And that release date isn’t too far away. The band announced that their debut album Reasons to Dream will be out on 24 May and have already released the first single from that album. “It always difficult to choose a single” explains Niall but “we all like the sound of this”.

The lead single Future, the first song recorded for the upcoming album, is a blend of everything that makes this trio work. Aoise Powers dreamy vocals front the pop-punk trio’s sound that has led them on a journey from childhood friends to signing for Virgin EMI. And now they’re on the cusp of releasing their debut album.

Titled Reasons to Dream and described after much deliberation by the band as “euphoric, emotional and real”, I’m told that that the album centres on the trio’s experience of moving away from Ireland. “It’s very much us,” says Aoise, “it’s about us being Irish in London” and that experience of feeling “lost and homesick” and “completely starting again.”

Accompanied by an array of brightly coloured suits, whenyoung styled their way through a stunning set at the Brixton Academy, continuing to be well received by crowds across the globe. Now with a debut album and a busy festival schedule on the horizon, you would be stupid not to take a look at what this pop-punk trio has to offer.


*WhenYoung’s Debut Album is out 24 May on Virgin EMI. You can listen to their lead single ‘Future’ Now.

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