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Single by The Joy Formidable
from the album The Big Roar
Released May 2009 (Original)
16 April 2011 (Re-release)
Format Digital download, Vinyl
Genre Alternative rock, shoegazing
Length 6:47 (Album)
3:17 (Radio edit)
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s) The Joy Formidable
Producer(s) The Joy Formidable, Rich Costey, Neak Menter
The Joy Formidable singles chronology
"I Don't Want to See You Like This"
"A Heavy Abacus"
"I Don't Want to See You Like This"
"A Heavy Abacus"

"Whirring" is a song by the Welsh alternative rock band the Joy Formidable. Written by the band, it was originally released on the band's debut EP, A Balloon Called Moaning, in 2009 before being re-released on the band's debut full-length album, The Big Roar, in 2011.


Pitchfork ranked the song No. 68 on its list of the Top 100 Tracks of 2011, with author Amy Phillips writing: "The Joy Formidable aren't headlining soccer stadiums quite yet, but you wouldn't know it from listening to 'Whirring'. An aerobic rush of a song that builds to the kind of explosive alt-rock chorus that would've blown the roof off of '120 Minutes' circa 1995, it's the kind of thing that gets you pumped to run up a steep hill, lift heavy objects, or defeat Bob Dole's Presidential run."[1]

Music video[edit]

The original music video for "Whirring", directed by Dain Bedford, was released in 2009 and was filmed in Northern Wales.[2][3] A second music video, directed by Christopher Mills, was released on March 8, 2011 on MTV's website. The 2011 version is a surrealist music video featuring the band exploring a house full of cats and them descending deeper and deeper through the house's layers.[4]

The 2011 music video was the first video the air on the premier episode of 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

A sample of "Whirring" was used for the Lonely Island song, "Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once)", airing as an SNL Digital Short on January 26, 2013.

Track listings[edit]

All songs written by Ritzy Bryan and Rhydian Dafydd.

2009 7" Vinyl, Limited Edition[6]
  1. "Whirring" - 2:37
  2. Chwyrlio - 3:52
US Record Store Day 2011 exclusive[7]
  1. Whirring - 3:17
  2. Chwyrlio - 4:09


Chart (2011) Peak
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[8] 7
US Rock Songs (Billboard)[8] 21


  1. ^ The Top 100 Tracks of 2011. Pitchfork. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  2. ^ The joy Formidable - Whirring. Myspace. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  3. ^ The Joy Formidable - 'Whirring' - NMETV Latest Music Videos and Clips - NME.COM
  4. ^ Newman, Jason. Indie Music Month Video Premiere: The Joy Formidable, 'Whirring'. MTV. March 8, 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  5. ^ ‘Whirring’ feat on 120 Minutes Premiere. The Joy Formidable. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  6. ^ Joy Formidable, The – Whirring (Vinyl). Discogs. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  7. ^ Joy Formidable, The – Whirring (Vinyl). Discogs. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  8. ^ a b The Big Roar - Charts - Singles. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 December 2011.

External links[edit]