Yung’s passion for what they do is instantly infectious. “I’ve always wanted to have a record label,” frontman Mikkel Holm Silkjær enthuses. Hailing from Aarhus in Denmark, the quartet might be gearing up to release their debut album, but their musical roots within their city stem back years.
“Aarhus is really tiny,” Mikkel describes of their home. “The scene consists of 25-30 people who are actually involved, organising shows, and playing in bands. Obviously, that’s not a lot of people,” he chuckles, “but despite that, there’s a lot of really, really great bands.” Buzzing about a local group’s debut cassette he just got hold of, the energy is alight with potential.
It’s not just his own creativity that ignites this fervour. Founding Shordwood Records in 2013, Mikkel has been releasing and promoting bands from his hometown for years. “We just released our most recent record!” he exclaims, racing through descriptions of as many bands from a recent compilation as he can muster in the moment. “The scene has really grown,” he beams, and there’s no denying he has a lot to be proud of.
What started out as an outlet for excess creativity took a while to snowball into the form the band are in today. “I was playing in other bands, and I wrote songs for them, but every now and then I wrote a song that didn’t fit,” the frontman explains. “So I called those songs Yung. After three years I had quite a lot,” he laughs.
Finally daring to take things to the next level, Mikkel set about drawing a group around him. “I had never really sent any of my songs to anybody before, so I was kind of nervous,” he reveals. Of course, he needn’t have worried. Tobias Guldborg Tarp (bass) and Frederik Nybo Veile (drums) loved what they heard, and with the later addition of Emil Zethsen on guitar, Yung were at last ready to carve out their mark.
Now, sitting at the forefront of a new wave of acts, Yung are on the verge of great things. With an aesthetic grounded in punk, the four-piece are constantly pushing their sound and style to new places, and the world is ready and waiting for them. “This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time,” Mikkel gushes. “I want to travel.”
“I love the adventure,” he raves. “I love meeting new people. I love seeing new cities. I love playing with new bands.” With Europe and UK dates already in place, and a tour of North America planned for later this year, Yung’s journey is only just beginning.
Recorded at Silence Studio in Sweden, debut album ‘A Youthful Dream’ encapsulates that sense of adventure. “It’s basically in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by this huge forest area, and there’s a very big lake,” Mikkel recalls. “These Swedish hippies from Stockholm bought the house in the late 60s, and turned it into a studio. It was a wonderful place to record the album.”
Approaching the undertaking in an entirely new way, Yung were able to create something unique. “I knew I was writing an album,” Mikkel asserts. “This was the first time that had ever happened. It was very important to me to write something that was different, and had a different vibe.”
Creating something with a difference is exactly what the band have achieved. From the free-wheeling energy of ‘Uncombed Hair’, through the piano and brass interludes on ‘The Child’, to the lingering chimes of the title track, ‘A Youthful Dream’ is a snapshot into the mind and character of a band just establishing who they are. From these foundations, Yung are capable of achieving anything.
Taken from the June issue of Upset, out now – order your copy here.