- 22 May 19
Magnificent debut gives us reason to dream.
Limerick trio Whenyoung have been building a strong following in anticipation of this, their debut album. Last summer saw them grace the green fields of County Laois at the Electric Picnic and share a bill with Patti Smith and Nick Cave at The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Now, signed to major label Virgin EMI, the band have released an astoundingly assured debut, a statement of intent as they make their way inexorably to headlining status.
Considering the modest assembly of Aoife Power on vocals and bass, Niall Burns on guitar, and Andrew Flood on drums, Reasons To Dream sounds massive. Thanks to Burns’ smartly processed effects work, and the direct but effective rhythmic force of Power and Flood, their sound is made for the festival main stages they’re destined for. The album is also well-written and stunningly engineered, occasionally recalling the kind of late-2000s new-wave inspired indie disco that Ladyhawke briefly perfected. ‘Never Let Go’, ‘The Others’, ‘You’re Grand’, and ‘In My Dreams’, are all excellent, punchy, stimulating.
Elsewhere, ‘Blow Up The World’ offers a rare moment of melodic shoegazing that evokes memories of The Cocteau Twins and The Cure in their less-commercial milieu. It’s the album’s sleeper hit, one that initially feels like filler but which soon beguiles, building from a sparse, echo-laden opening to an epic climax. We’re back on the figurative dancefloor with the majestic ‘Future’, which immediately seduces us with Burns’ hooky guitar and Flood’s four on the floor rhythms. Blasting through the trio’s immense wall of sound is Power’s unique vocal delivery, the dulcet tones providing a potent dynamic against the thunderous sonic onslaught of her bandmates.
With Reasons To Dream, Whenyoung have carved out their own distinctive brand of infectious indie dream pop. This is an album to rank among the finest Irish LPs of recent times.
Out May 24.