It’s mid-July and I’m in a field somewhere outside of Oxford. Currently sizzling in the abnormal British sunshine, beer in hand, I’m enjoying one of the last festivals of the season when on the horizon, three colourful boiler suits catch my eye.
Thankfully not a mild hallucination after one too many Budweisers, the standout garms in question belong to Irish band of the moment, whenyoung. Made up of longtime pals Aoife Power, Niall Burns and Andrew Flood, the group have become known for their bright suits and even brighter pop songs, and when we meet a month later in a North London pub, I spill all about my rogue festival sighting. “We’re easy to spot in them, I guess!” They laugh.
Bonding over their shared love of indie music as teens, the trio moved from their hometown in Limerick to London and started playing music together. “It just came really naturally because we all like the same stuff.” Niall tells me, mid-Guinness sip. “It was easy! It’s easy being in this band.”
Penning charming indie-pop bops, the band have been climbing the ranks amongst the latest wave of newcomers tipped for greatness. With several singles already out, they’re currently working towards their brand new EP “Given Up”, set to drop in November.
Throughout the four-track record, the group’s hypnotising songwriting style shines through. Emphasised by Aoife’s incredible vocals and the gang’s penchant for irresistible pop melodies, Andrew tells me that their main aim is to give people a “euphoric feeling” with their music. “The EP is just four songs and we kind of wanted it to incorporate all sides of us,” he continues. “There’s the slower song, the pop song and then the cover [‘Dreams’] as a tribute to where we’re from.” “And hopefully people can relate to the lyrics,” Aoife adds. “That’s what we all love most: lyrics that you can take a line away from and it really affects you.”
Taking inspiration from “everything”, Aoife’s lyrics often stem from what she sees in the world around her. “It’s just the way you feel on a certain day or what’s on the news, or what your friends are going through, or books and films that you’ve read and feel moved by,” she details. “It can be really frustrating sometimes trying to force a song out. I think we’ve realised sometimes you have to step away a bit and take inspiration not just from music but other things.”
Now that they’ve got the method down, whenyoung are ready to take on their highly-anticipated debut album. Heading into the studio to start recording later this year, they’re adamant about giving us something new and exciting. “We want to make it a bit different and a bit special,” Niall emphasises, “not a standard indie rock album, so there probably will be some surprises on it. We don’t even necessarily see ourselves as an indie rock band. Some people have said that about us but it’s not really where we see ourselves.” So how do they pull away from said “indie rock” label? “Just by coming at it from an interesting angle,” Andrew offers. “I don’t think we’re scared of doing that. We’re not scared of going in a pop direction if that’s what the song needs, you know?”
Joining The Vaccines and Blossoms on the road later this year and with their own headline tour starting in September, the future looks bright for the Irish trio. Maybe even brighter than their signature boiler suits, and that’s really saying something...
Photography - Mikayla Miller
Fashion - Jessica Gardener
Hair - Randolph Gray
Makeup - Natasha Lakic
Rollacoaster Autumn/Winter 2018 Issue