The Young Folk write songs that range from dark to uplifting

It is the big question: in 20 years time, will they still call themselves The Young Folk?

“Definitely,” laughed the band’s vocalist and guitarist Anthony Furey. 

“There will be a lot of Botox and face lifts so we might look a bit strange, but we will still be The Young Folk.” 

The Irish stars have been growing in popularity across the world, with the video clip for their song Letters now hitting over 50,000 views on YouTube.

They have recently been preparing for their first tour to Australia, where they will be the headline act at the Cobargo Folk Festival. 

Their songs are filled with waves of melody, that soar from melancholy and heartfelt to more uplifting, infused with a catchy pop sound.

If you ask Furey he describes his band’s music as “polyphonic folk pop”, while in the media they have been likened to superstars Mumford & Sons – but it is a comparison that does not sit too comfortably with the singer. 

“People like to pigeonhole, they think ‘who is the big name now and let’s compare it to them’,” Furey said over the phone from Dublin on Wednesday. 

“But it’s not a bad thing, we’ve certainly been called worse!”

The subjects the band often writes about are family or relationships.

But they are not only limited to those as sources of inspiration, as Furey himself has gone through many different experiences of songwriting that included only wanting to write from reading short stories; there was a time when he was basing songs off the tale of Sleepy Hollow of the Headless Horseman. 

“A few songs of mine got very dark,” the 33-year-old said. 

“It’s a bit strange when you start writing about people going missing, so I started to write up this character in my head from the inspiration of that story, that dark style. 

“But it was at a time when I wasn’t getting much sleep. 

“There can also be a lot of sadness in our songs, but I think people expect that in Irish music!”

The Young Folk - Letters

While pianist Paul Butler, bassist Tony McLoughlin and Furey are from Ireland – their trombonist Alex Borwick is from New Zealand - they do not do many shows in their home country.

“We don’t play a lot of songs in Ireland, we’ve got nothing against Ireland we just like to play in other countries!” Furey said.

They have performed in England, Belgium, Germany, the US and Canada, finding there is an appetite for Irish music across the world. 

“I think people respect the Irish songwriters, the words they write. They want to hear some stories from such a small place,” Furey said.

Cobargo Folk Festival is on February 24-26, see www.cobargofolkfestival.com.

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