Whysp is a Santa Cruz based folk group formed in the fall of 2002 created by Josh Alper, Hugh Holden and Jeffrey Manson. Other local musicians have participated in the band, including Glenn Donaldson, John Garmon, Aaron Emmert, Nicky Dinosaur, Michele Hannigan, Ia Hernandez, Emily White, Tom Child, Adam Payne, Mike May and Niki Selken. Other members include Kyle Field and Christine Boepple.
The formation of Whysp was partially inspired by a record Josh Alper found at Streetlight Records of the 60's UK folk group Forest, who released two albums on the Harvest label in 1969 and 1970. Another primary inspiration for forming Whysp was the possibility of opening a show for the group The Black Elf Speaks, whose members Tom and Colin of U.S.A. is a Monster had a tradition of forming a different Elf band every year, recording an album and touring during the summer. The album from their Elf band Elvish Presley was also influential on Whysp. The show at The Beehive on October 24th, 2002 with The Black Elf Speaks was the first Whysp show and featured a line-up of Alper/Holden/Manson.
Tom Child joined the group sometime in the Fall or Winter of 2003. The line-up of Alper/Child/Holden/Manson recorded the CDr "demo" album That Which Never Was But May Someday Come To Be with Chris Gonzalez on June 1st, 2003 and toured the West Coast later that summer culminating in a set at the What the Heck? Festival in Anacortes, Washington on July 19th. Karl Blau and Kyle Field also sat in on this set.
John Garmon joined the group sometime that Fall and Whysp played a set with the line-up of Alper/Child/Garmon/Holden/Manson at Big Bang 2003 with Six Organs of Admittance and Entrance that is featured in the documentary of said festival.
Niki Selken joined Whysp for a brief period around November of 2003.
In March of 2004 Whysp toured the West Coast again with Emily White of Diamond Star Halos who was integrated into the group during this tour. This tour culminated in a recording session with Phil Elverum in Anacortes, Washington the bulk of which ended up on Whysp's first "official" release, a full-length vinyl lp entitled Whysp. Jeffrey Manson was living on a beach in Mexico during this period of the group and the line-up for this tour was Alper/Child/Garmon/Holden/White.
Whysp performed again at the What the Heck? Festival in July of 2004 with a line-up of Alper/Child/Holden/Garmon/May.
In October of 2004, Whysp toured the greater U.S. and Canada with a line-up of Alper/Child/Garmon/Holden. Shortly after this tour Tom Child moved to L.A., effectively leaving the regular line-up.
The Whysp of 2005 was somewhat tumultous, featuring an ever-changing line-up with Holden and Alper being the only consistent members. It was during this period that most of the Whysp material was recorded for the split lp The Dawn is Crowned. This material was recorded mainly by Aaron Emmert in The Silent Planet. Aaron Emmert, Nicky Dinosaur and Adam Payne played with Whysp at several shows during this period. Kyle Field played a few shows as well. Michele Hannigan began sitting in on sitar eventually becoming a regular member of the group. Jeffrey Manson also began gravitating back towards the group. The crux of this period was perhaps Whysp's set at the Mind Zap Festival in San Francisco around April 20th which featured the massive line-up of Alper/Holden/Dinosaur/Emmert/Garmon/Hannigan/Manson and perhaps more who were lost in the haze of that event. John Garmon would leave the group as a regular member after a particularly madcap set at the Hotel Utah, returning to his desert hometown.
In September of 2005, Glenn Donaldson and Christine Boepple of San Francisco's Skygreen Leopards (among other projects), as well as Ia Hernandez, began playing with Whysp. With these additions, Whysp settled into their current line-up of Alper/Boepple/Donaldson/Hannigan/Hernandez/Holden/Manson.
Oddly enough, Whysp played Big Bang 2005 in October with a line-up of Alper/Hernandez/Holden/Manson and a different line-up of Alper/Child/Holden/Manson/White toured the West Coast in October of 2005.
- That Which Never Was But May Someday Come To Be CDR, Love Tape Love, 2003
- Property is Theft CDR Compilation, Property is Theft, 2003
- What the Heck? CDR Compilation, KNW-YR-OWN, 2003
- The Big Bang 2003: Santa Cruz, CA DVD-R Collection, LOD Efforts, 2003
- Trust in Sirens CDR Compilation, Kelp! Monthly, 2004
- Whysp LP, Good Village/Yik Yak/Love Tape Love, 2004
- The Dawn is Crowned split LP with The Story, Good Village, 2005
- the song "Previous You" was included on a Terrascope Benefit Comp, 2008
- The Family EP 7" on The Great Pop Supplement, 2008