Album Review: Circa Waves – Different Creatures

Monday, March 20, 2017

The day before listening to Circa Waves new album, I threw our family bin off the balcony. A move designed to vent my frustrations and anger, but all it did was create a mess that I had to pick up in the rain. What I should have done was listen to Different Creatures. Twice. This is an album for anyone feeling all the feels. It’s an album for throwing bins off balconies, raging at the current state of the world, and dancing until the sweat drips into your eyes and your feet begin to blister. 

Different Creatures shows another side to Circa Waves, whose 2015 debut album Young Chasers was filled with summery indie-pop songs. If Young Chasers is for road trips and summer beers, Different Creatures is for political rallies and reflection. An 11-track manifestation of emotion, the album opens with ‘Wake Up’, which is a punch in the gut song that sets the tone for the rest of the album. 

By the third track ‘Goodbye’, I’m sure this is an album for the heartbroken as frontman Kieran Shundall pours everything he has into the lyrics, ‘take, all you do is take, but you need more to break me you need more. It’s not all raging and crying, however, ‘Out on My Own’ and ‘Love’s Run Out’ slow the pace down, the perfect antidote to the weighty feel of earlier songs and an opportunity to show how capable the band is of creating an album that shifts and changes in tone. 

Towards the end of the album comes perfection in a song with ‘Stuck’. A rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt adrift and alone. I have no doubt it’s a song that will stick (see what I did there) with anyone who’s at a bit of a loss in their lives ‘you catch a couple hours of poisonous TV, you crawl into the shower and look around and see that you are stuck’. 

The album in its entirety is punchy, strong and brilliant. It’s a subtle shift from their original sound which may have to do with producer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Killers) co-producing this time around. 

Despite all this, I can’t help but think, do we need another album reminiscent of those bands already at the top of their game? Probably not. Is it worth a listen all the same? 100% yes. They’ve developed their sound into something tangible, emotional and loud. And while they are releasing Different Creatures into an overflowing pool of similar music courtesy of Catfish and the Bottlemen, Foals and The Vaccines, it’s still a damn good album. 

It’s an album to play to the heartbroken, the angry and the lost. It’s to be played in packed out tents at festivals; punters dancing until they can no longer remember anything before the sound of Kieran Shudall’s vocals and Colin James’s drumming.

Written by Rowan Montgomery 

Circa Waves – Different Creatures