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Class act Wyvern Lingo: 'Working with Hozier spurred us on to try to make it ourselves'

Local singer and songwriter Hozier was one of the band's biggest champions when they started out.


FEMALE trio Wyvern Lingo never imagined that bonding over music in secondary school would later take them on an adventure together around the world.

As they release their new album, Awake You Lie, singer and guitarist Saoirse Ruane tells how the trio spent 2019 on a non-stop tour.

"Looking back at all the places we played it's hard to believe now," Saoirse says. "Then we went straight into a recording studio in Berlin to work on our album. We had just finished it when the world came to an end."

Going back to their days in Loreto College in their hometown of Bray, Co Wicklow, they remember delving into the record collections of their respective parents and listening to artists like Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie.

"Part of our friendship was that we played music together. We didn't really know people our age who were interested in the kind of music we were into," Caoimhe Barry recalls from those days.

Soon the trio, that also includes Karen Cowley, were meeting up after school and spending hours at each other's homes listening to the favourite artists of their mums and dads.

"As soon as we copped on to music we realised that we had a plethora of records in our houses to forage through and learn from and get excited about," Caoimhe says "We never considered our parents' music old fashioned."

Saoirse says: "We've now been playing together since we were 14, but officially as Wyvern Lingo for the last eight years. We started off jamming together in Caoimhe's garage at her home in Seacrest."

Local singer and songwriter Hozier was one of their biggest champions when they started out.

"Hozier has always been great and so supportive," Saoirse says.

"Karen first met Hozier when they played together in bands," Caoimhe recalls. "They became friends and played in the Trinity Orchestra together, so we've known him for years through that relationship. And when Hozier started to take off, Karen and I we doing backing vocals for him."

It was through their work with Hozier that Wyvern Lingo saw the possibilities that were out there for their own group.

"Working with him spurred us on to try to be a band and try to make it ourselves," Caoimhe reveals.

"This is what we really wanted to do, but we didn't have the guts to do it. Hozier has been great for us in that way. Karen has featured on his album and he has also taken us on tour, so he's been very supportive and a good friend."

Saoirse says: "We've been so lucky to support such amazing acts as Hozier. We did a UK tour with him, but we've also supported (Australian band) Haitus Kaiyote and we reached out to their audience. Supporting (New Zealand band) Unknown Mortal Orchestra was a big step in the right direction as well."

"On our first album we played around with a lot of electronic sounds. We love the pop aspect of that album and the aim was to showcase what we'd done so far," Saoirse says.

"With our new album we have come full circle from our days jamming in Caoimhe's garage in Seacrest. It's gone back to that kind of sound and way of playing and songwriting."

•WYVERN Lingo's new album, Awake You Lie, is out now.

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