Feature: The Ingredients of ‘Given Up’ with whenyoung

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Limerick-raised and London-based indie-pop trio whenyoung shared their new EP Given Up last month. Featuring singer/bassist Aoife Power, guitarist Niall Burns, and drummer Andrew Flood, whenyoung are starting to make their mark and we're excited that they took some time out to share the story behind their latest release for us. Learn more about the project below.

We grew up in Limerick and Clare, in the West of Ireland. It’s where we all met as young teenagers through being outcasts. We met at house parties and swapped the names of bands and musicians that we’d have found out about that week in music magazines or by flicking through record shops. We used to sneak into the one bar in town that would play alternative music rather than the club floor fillers everywhere else. Having that experience and growing to love and understand music together is what strengthened our bond as friends and led us to forming the band.

We moved to London individually and it was here that we started to realise our dream of forming a band. Have the isolation and anonymity of being a little fish in a big sea gave us so much inspiration and determination to create. As we began writing songs and playing shows we realised that it was this feeling of acceptance and excitement in the artistic community that was influencing us and shaping our music.

Irish music
Living away from home definitely makes you think more about your identity, makes you homesick and all the rest. Growing up we would have been exposed to lots of Irish music, both traditional and contemporary. Acts like The Dubliners, Mary Black, Bill Whelan, Sinead O Connor, Enya, The Pogues. A lot of their songs have come back to us over the last few years and we’ve definitely seen them in a different light. I think this has really shaped our songwriting.

Mascara Bar
This is one of our favourite bars in our end of London. It stays open late and you can never predict what crowd will be there or what will happen. It’s a parallel universe. Its got a tiny little stage where they sometimes put gigs on, we did a show there last year and it was so crazy. We often spend nights there with friends and it inspired one of our songs Given Up. It's about how sometimes you can burn the candle at both ends and wear yourself out, getting sidetracked from what it is you want to do with your life. It’s about taking back control.

Films and books
We take a lot of inspiration from other art forms. We share books and films between each other and they often help to shape ideas for songs and lyrics. We also like to take style and visual references from films for how we dress and our live shows. Some of our favourite directors are Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Eric Rohmer and Agnes Varda.

Our friends
We have a really close and supportive network of friends. They have supported us since we had our first shows and without them, we may never have had the courage to keep trying. We have collaborated with some of them or had help with artwork and shooting videos. So many of them are incredibly creative and talented in their own paths and this continues to encourage us and inspire us in what we do.

Check out their EP Given Up below: