Irish indie pop trio Whenyoung formed in Limerick but got their start in London, where they swiftly achieved success, signing to Universal after just a few singles for their '90s-influenced EP "Given Up." Inspired by punk and new wave as well as classic pop and soul, their catchy, spiky indie pop sound has a strong Brit-pop flavor with shades of Sleeper and Echobelly, while Aoife Power's unique vocal style was compared to Sinéad O'Connor and Björk.
Vocalist/bassist Power, guitarist Niall Burns, and drummer Andrew Flood met as teenagers in Costello's Tavern, Limerick's only indie club, after sneaking in underage. Bonding over a shared love of retro guitar music, they became friends and decided to form a band together. Initially performing under the name Sisters, they moved to Dublin to take advantage of the city's thriving music scene, but eventually went their separate ways. In 2016, after Burns moved to London, the other two decided to follow him and there they formed a new band. They got their first gig when Power, who was working as a gardener, mentioned to one of her clients, who turned out to be a music promoter, that she was a singer. They self-released two singles, "See How They Run" and "Actor," before catching the ear of Maccabees guitarist Felix White, who offered to release their next single, "Pretty Pure," on his Yala label. After they sent their cover of the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" to Shane MacGowan, he invited them to play at his 60th birthday gig in Dublin's National Concert Hall. At the end of 2017, less than two years after forming, the band were signed by Universal subsidiary Virgin EMI, and successfully played several major festivals the following summer. Moved by the tragic accidental death of the Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan, herself a Limerick native, they decided to cover her band's "Dreams" as a tribute to her; on their faithful cover, Power produces an uncanny facsimile of O'Riordan's vocal. The track appeared on their 2018 major-label debut EP "Given Up," and their first full-length album, Reasons to Dream, arrived the following year. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi