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No doubt a band currently in the midst of a stratospheric ascendance, Wild Youth have exploded onto the scene with their infinitely catchy and buoyant brand of indie-pop. Homegrown, humble fun is the main preoccupation of the Irish quartet – comprised of lead vocalist David Whelan, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Conor O’Donohoe, lead guitarist Ed Porter and drummer Callum McAdam – whose collective self-assured swagger has caught eyes and ears everywhere.
A penchant for “sad bangers”, aka blood-pounding choruses, heart-stompingly gorgeous melodies, and deft lyricism, as well as the Dublin outfit’s hip-shaking moves and peppy vigour, means it is music designed to fill huge arenas or to be heard crackling out over a sun-soaked festival stage. And their far-reaching influences are evident: from the kinetic funk-tinged arrangements of Prince, to the boundary-pushing angst of The Walkmen and Tame Impala’s hypnotic psych-pop – a melting pot of innovative sounds run through their tracks. And undeniably, their prowess lies in their live showmanship, a commitment to spectacle, energy, and good, good times.
“Even though our songs are about heartbreak and sad things, there’s enough going on in the world without bringing people to a concert and making them feel sad,” explains Wild Youth’s songwriter Conor. “I want people to be able to come and put their phones in their bags and be themselves, and just dance. Everyone can just forget all their problems and have fun.”
Their talent for hit-making has been certified since the very start when their soaring debut single “All Or Nothing” went viral in the Spotify charts in Ireland. But it wasn’t until they dropped their shoulder-shaking heartbreak hit “Can’t Move On”, that they exhibited their potential for being big players on the music circuit – with the track going on to snag a Zane Lowe plug, dominate the Irish airwaves and become the most played song on Irish radio in 2018, even earning a place on the soundtrack of one of the biggest television feats of the last decade, BBC/Hulu’s beloved series Normal People.
The band started back in 2016 when songwriter Conor suffered a life-threatening injury at the age of 16, leaving him housebound for several months, prompting him to teach himself guitar and piano, as well as hone his mastery of song writing. Add his childhood best friend Dave into the mix, plus Ed and Callum, and Wild Youth was born: out of tight-knit place of longstanding friendship, commitment and collaboration.
Splitting their time between Dublin and London, part of their beguiling charm is their earnest interaction with fans, who they refer to as “one big family”. The band explain: “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We’re just four totally normal people from Dublin who just love making music and if there’s five people at our show or 5000 people at our show we’ll still be the same every time; it’s about just being on a human level and constantly engaging with people.”
All at the Folly Festival look forward to welcoming Wild Youth to Cullohill Castle in July! It’s going to be really, really, great!!