Indie-rock from Liverpool: Circa Waves have been rather successful in their home country already. Some songs also gained popularity on the other side of the Channel. On 13th January 2023, the four musicians released their fifth album overall, Never Going Under. Here are my thoughts.
Circa Waves – About The Artists
Circa Waves is quartet consisting of Kieran Shudall (lead vocals, guitar), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rouke (bass) and drummer Colin Jones. Apart from Jones, who joined the band in 2015, they still place in the original lineup compared to when the band has been founded in 2013. The band’s popularity grew quite rapidly, as already their first album Young Chasers has been a UK Top 10 one. While the three other albums released so far roughly had similar rankings, Circa Waves’ albums did not sell well outside the United Kingdom so far. However, especially their 2015 single T-Shirt Weather had some good chart placements in Belgium and Japan. In 2019, their Movies almost had a Top 10 placement in (Dutch-speaking) Belgium. Apart from four albums, the band also released three EPs, the last being Hell on Earth in August 2022.
Circa Waves – Never Going Under – Track by Track
Never Going Under features eleven songs and lasts 35 minutes.
1. Never Going Under
The first 2:14 minutes of the album are dedicated to the title track. The song is entertaining, but overall feels a bit too brave to. Nice driving of the vibes by the guitar and the drums.
2. Do You Wanna Talk
With some 2.6 million streams on Spotify only, Do You Wanna Talk is the most successful single release of the album so far. The song is definitely a nice blend between the characteristic Circa Waves indie rock sound the ease of a pop song. Nice one!
3. Hell On Earth
Hell On Earth is another single release. However, the third song is much more energetic, the chorus is even a bit of cheeky and feels like a punk track. One of my favorite listens of the album.
4. Your Ghost
If there is something like feelgood-indie-rock… I would name Your Ghost to be part of that genre. Again, the Liverpool band is creating a lovely happy vibe based on rocking guitar sounds. The song is broken by rather dreaming, atmospheric sections.
5. Carry You Home
Carry You Home is a 1.4 million Spotify stream single release. The song starts with fast drumming, which makes it feel like a pop track. The chorus is a great catch, indeed.
6. Northern Town
To yet a ballad, but Northern Town is a beautiful, very atmospheric slow town, which is working towards its climax at roughly the middle of the song. Good listen.
7. Electric City
In this electric city
We living a sin
In this electric city
We always plugged in
And in and in
And we sing
When I write that Circa Waves are nicely combining indie rocks to cheeky melodies to a happy vibe, this may sound rather boring – or you might feel that the album is monotonous. I really enjoy listening to these guys. And I definitely don’t feel like listening to the same song again and again.
8. Want It All Today
The eighth track is coming with a nice bass groove. The song is creating a certain easy from the high keyboard melody line. This all is just a decent background for Shudall’s very present voice, which is having a couple of falsetto parts.
9. Golden Days
Golden Days is not only the second longest song of the album, but also one of my favorite listens. The sound of the ninth track is very modern and straight. I wanted your love through these golden days – a lovely way to look back to loving.
10. Hold On
Hold On does not create too many new or surprising vibes. But it is a nice song with a good vibe and a really nice and present melody. Nice one.
11. Living In The Grey
The emotional Living In The Grey is as close as the Liverpool band gets to a ballad. Nice finale with a dramatic touch. The second half of the song is unfortunately a bit of thin compared to the intense initial listen.
Circa Waves – Never Going Under – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Circa Waves – Never Going Under – My View
Never Going Under is a nice album, indeed. Unfortunately, I feel that Circa Waves could even do better. They create a quite characteristic sound, but some songs just don’t feel to dare to keep their mood and concept. Nonetheless, it is a happy indie-rock listen and thus a very welcome release in the cold and dark winter days.
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