Wyvern Lingo are an Irish band consisting of Karen Cowley (Vocals/Piano), Saoirse Duane (Vocals/Guitar) and Caoimhe Barry (Vocals/Percussion). You might recognise Cowley’s hauntingly beautiful voice as Hozier’s duet partner from ‘In A Week’, or seen Wyvern Lingo as they supported Hozier and the band on their UK tour. The Indiependent caught up with the girls to learn a bit more about this talented trio.
THE INDIEPENDENT: How did Wyvern Lingo come to be a group – how did you all meet?
Well, we’re all from the same town, we met just before secondary school and bonded over mutual interests in music. We’ve been playing music together ever since, but only started giving it a serious go about 2 years ago.
THE INDIEPENDENT: Where did the name ‘Wyvern Lingo’ come from?
Crap story – dictionary – next question!
THE INDIEPENDENT: If you had to describe your sound in 3 words, which ones would you pick?
RnB Alt-Rock Pop
THE INDIEPENDENT: What comes first in the creative process, melody or lyrics?
We are all big into lyrics and vocals, so our older stuff was certainly more lyrically driven, but since we’ve changed our set up a bit (Caoimhe on kit, Saoirse on electric guitar and Karen on synth bass plus many sounds) we have started working from the bottom up, with riffs and beats first. Having said that, we all write, so it changes for each of us from song to song.
THE INDIEPENDENT: Which artists have been the most instrumental in shaping your sound?
Songwriters like Jeff Buckley, bands like Led Zeppelin and 90’s RnB groups like TLC and Destiny’s Child have all added to the melting pot of our influences. More recently though, bands like Hiatus Kaiyote and Alt-J have been influencing our sound big time.
THE INDIEPENDENT: You’ve been supporting Hozier on tour, how has that been for you guys?
It’s been deadly. The UK crowds have been so supportive and open minded to new music. Looking out into those massive crowds and seeing faces turned our way has been incredible. Obviously our set is shorter than usual, but it’s been a rewarding challenge trying to get our sound across in 30mins. We also have big love for the Hozier band and crew so it’s been a lot of fun.
THE INDIEPENDENT: Any pre-gig rituals?
We religiously blast Rihanna’s BBHMM in the dressing room as well as many more ego saturated songs. We have a dance, warm up, then go play songs!
THE INDIEPENDENT: Do you channel any famous acts when you’re on stage, or do your own thing?
We do our own thing, we would never consider trying to be anyone else.
THE INDIEPENDENT: Seeing an all-female group in a male dominated industry is really refreshing. What do you think about recent controversy about the lack of female acts in festival line-ups?
Well, us being an all female group is incidental. While it was shocking to see those posters with the female acts highlighted, we aren’t so sure that it’s due to deliberate sexism on the part of the bookers. The real question is why are there less females in music in the first place to choose from?
THE INDIEPENDENT: What advice would you give to women trying to make it in the music industry?
Stop seeing yourself as ‘a woman trying to make it in the music industry’ and just write and play to the best of your ability. Let your image and sound be so unique and strong that gender is simply a technicality.
THE INDIEPENDENT: Have you got any tours of your own coming up?
The Irish festival circuit! SUMMER IS HERE!
THE INDIEPENDENT: What can we expect from Wyvern Lingo in the next few months?
We will be in studio very soon working on our next EP. We are beyond excited. Chomping at the bit to record, release, tour, then repeat!
Wyvern Lingo Irish Tour:
5th – Whelans, Wexford Street
19-21st – Sea Sessions, Bundoran, Donegal
17th – Longitude Festival, Marlay Park, Dublin
31st – 2nd – Indiependence Music and Arts Festival, Cork
4th – 6th – Electric Picnic, Stradbally, Co. Laois