High School Band Reunion: Beneath Oceans becomes Young in the City

Photo Courtesy of Young in the City

Yasaman Khorsandi || Copy Editor 

We’ve all seen the rock ‘n’ roll movies. Or maybe we’ve even been the teenagers ourselves who formed a band at the tender age of 15, creating music in bedrooms that reeked of youthful angst and coining an obscure band name. How often, though, have we seen bands reunite years down the line to actually fulfill those high school dreams? Young in the City (YITC), a Seattle-based pop rock band, is doing just that.

The band consists of solo artist Noah Gundersen as lead singer, Michael Porter as lead guitarist, Keelan O’Hara on drums and Jeremy Buller on bass guitar.

Most people know Gundersen for his solo work and popular sophomore album, “Carry the Ghost,” which he just toured around the U.S. in 2015. Although he is mostly devoted to his solo work, Gundersen is fully investing in YITC.

“I just had to get back together with the old dudes,” Gundersen said. “This last summer we reconnected to see if the old songs were still any good. They weren’t, so we started writing new ones.”

Gundersen, Porter and O’Hara made up the original band, titled Beneath Oceans, when they were in high school. The three boys grew up in neighboring small towns in Washington where they were exposed to the music scene at an early age.

“Although our hometown was small, it had a really unique and fun music scene growing up, and we all played in bands that would play on the same bills or venues,” O’Hara said.

When they reunited in Seattle in the summer of 2015, Gundersen, Porter and O’Hara invited their friend Buller to help them record their EP. They ended up asking him to join the newly renamed band, Young in the City.

“They needed someone to help out on bass during the recording sessions for the first EP. I fooled them into thinking I was cool enough to join the band afterward, and that was that,” Buller said.

After the decision to regroup the band, they proceeded to write and record their first EP, which they released Dec. 1, 2015.  

“We had joked about ‘getting the band back together’ since high school,” said O’Hara. “When we got together, we felt there was still chemistry.”

“We have been through a lot together, especially Noah, Keelan and I,” said Porter. “We’ve been friends for a really long time and it’s rewarding to do music alongside them both again. Jeremy is the perfect addition to YITC and I feel like since he’s joined, the band feels just right.”

As YITC talked vision for their band, they explained how the music they listen to affected their sound and songwriting.

“When we were in high school, we listened to a lot of experimental and heavy music, and that was evident in our songwriting,” Porter said. “We all listen to a lot of  ’80s rock stuff that has a heavy pop sensibility, and the idea behind our music right now is how the wild and adventurous parts of youth can remain a part of your life at any age.”

While the band is dedicated to its future success, the members all remain involved in many other musical projects and endeavors.

“We all sit in with other bands from time to time, and several of us have freelance or part-time jobs,” Buller said.  

The future of YITC involves recording lots of new music and getting its name out there by touring.

“Right now we are recording new music we are excited to share soon! We definitely plan to play more shows, along with the plan to eventually do some touring. I’m stoked to see what this year ends up looking like,” said O’Hara.

Check out Young in the City’s four-track EP on Spotify and iTunes (Some songs may contain explicit language.). Stay up to date about their upcoming shows in Los Angeles by following their Instagram or Facebook page, and look for their second EP release due out in late 2016.

YITC has come a long way from the boys they were in high school, but their love for creating honest music remains.  

“The history between us makes me appreciate doing this band together even more. We play and write music that we love. That’s what I think being in a band is all about,” Porter said.

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