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The Young Shaven


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The Young Shaven are a post-punk outfit based in Istanbul. Drawing from a spectrum of influences, they are aiming above all else to connect with the audience through embracive lyrics and a spirited stage presence. To date they have released four singles and an EP: ...And Venus Was The Name (2016), Perv/Nitecap (2017) on Personal Space Records, Honey Babe/It’s Gone to Stay (2017) on Vintage Records, and the two self-released singles Raise a Laugh and Cig No Fire (2018). The band was one of 6 bands chosen for the Turkish Red Bull Warm Up 2018 and was also hand-picked by OH SEES for their only Istanbul show at Zorlu PSM, Europe’s largest performing arts center, this past August.

Combining the good-time rhythm section of bands like E.S.G with the grit and charm of early Stooges, The Young Shaven’s latest release, Cig No Fire, is a two-and-a-half minute dance floor scorcher that will leave anyone with a pulse shaking for more. Recorded at BAU by Yiğitcan Akçelik and mastered by Ian Button (Go Kart Mozart) the song is guaranteed to warm your cockles quicker than a can of Aygaz.

The Young Shaven are a mainstay of the less salubrious venues of Istanbul, and are slowly garnering a reputation for raucous live shows. Their blasé turn-up-and-play approach is a welcome relief from the glossy hype machine surrounding a lot of the city's 'alternative' acts. Whether rocking on a dark surf riff à la The Fall while voicing an argument between an apathetic monotheist and polytheist (Raise A Laugh) or invoking The Zombies with a soulful number about a wedding guest with homicidal tendencies (Brides Head) the songs still maintain hooks and a familiar spine, owing to the bands ability to bring across a narrative that is sometimes reminiscent of bands like The Kinks.

Vulture Hound on the EP ...And Venus Was The Name: “The Young Shaven, whose brand of vintage post punk is a lean affair [...]. Their lyrics, which juxtapose snippets of Istanbul life with oblique turns of phrase in English and Turkish, come across like a T.S. Eliot redraft of Jarvis Cocker at times. Earlier demos and self-released material demonstrate the band’s [...] enviable ability to combine diverse influences within a signature blend rooted in their own Istanbul experience.”

The Rave Mag on Honey Babe “Mixing post punk with Yeşilçam spirit, their repetitive melodies and nuanced cymbals come across like ocean waves and make one feel in the right place.”

Kaya Genç wrote about a live performance in the Daily Sabah: “The music was loud, energetic and in about five minutes everyone was dancing. As I tried to make my way near the stage, all eyes were set on the front man, Archie McKay who appeared largely responsible for electrifying the space. He played with an umbrella, climbed a door, stage-dived and flirted with his audience that seemed delighted with the performance. There was an unmistakable air of release, joy and freedom around.”

Bir Baba Indie said “The Young Shaven don’t leave the audience alone, it makes them restless on purpose, creating an environment where anything can happen.”


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