New Album Review: Circa Waves “Different Creatures” ★★★★☆

Release date: 10/3/17


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Almost exactly two years after their impressive debut, Circa Waves are back with sophomore record Different Creatures. Full of summery brightness and dance-around-your-room optimism, Young Chasers brought Circa Waves firmly into the spotlight in 2015 (you still can’t experience a sunny day in England without Radio 1 blasting ‘T-Shirt Weather’), and Different Creatures, although boasting a slightly altered sound, does not disappoint.

Don’t make the mistake of judging Different Creatures purely on its currently released singles ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Fire That Burns;’ yes, they are both great tracks with a wonderful rock sound, but Circa Waves don’t stop there. With a generally heavier sound throughout than their previous work, every song brings something different to the table. Rock kicks off the record with ‘Wake Up,’ ‘Fire That Burns,’ and ‘Goodbye,’ before reaching the album’s first slightly slower song ‘Out on My Own.’ After three pretty fast tracks, the difference in speed is welcome and shows more depth to the band’s great songwriting behind their success. The album’s final track, ‘Old Friends’ provides yet more variation, with a much more chilled sound to it. It’s almost reminiscent of The Beach Boys in a way, with its laid-back tempo and nostalgic feel. There’s even a bit of an acoustic sound worked in as well (‘Love’s Run Out’).

The record is a perfect display of Circa Waves’ growth and development. There is clear evidence of their maturation as a band, yet they still manage to maintain a Young Chasers-esque youthfulness, providing a perfect combination and showing just how great music can be when bands develop their sound rather than producing the same old content. Title track ‘Different Creatures,’ and ‘Without You’ are perfect for long-time fans who love the old sound but are looking forward to something a bit different, as they’re a great blend of the two.

Different Creatures radiates confidence throughout, and although it’s a couple of tracks short of their previous effort, each track feels more complete. Despite not being quite as endlessly optimistic sounding as their debut, each track is upbeat and catchy and makes it difficult to stop listening. Can confirm: the Liverpool lads are still full of fun.

There couldn’t be a more appropriate name for a record showcasing the result of a development in sound; Circa Waves really have shown themselves to be progressing from strength to strength. They’re back, and they’re bringing the best kind of Different to the table.

-Kathi Bundy



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