Following their successful debut album, Young Chasers, Circa Waves have returned two years later with their second album Different Creatures. Both these titles of these albums point to where the band are in their progression: Young Chasers epitomised that feeling of youthful exuberance, whereas, with their second album, it is almost as if Circa Waves are different creatures, a different band from the one that reminisced about T-shirt Weather.
Different Creatures is an album that I had particularly high hopes for, and these hopes were met as this is an album packed full of quality. My hopes were built up due to the release of the second single Fire That Burns, which improved on an already stellar first single Wake Up, and which is still my favourite song of a very strong set of songs that compile this album.
One major point to make about Different Creatures is how clearly it maps out the growth and maturity that Circa Waves have developed in the past two years. Young Chasers was a fantastic album with a number of youthful anthems on it, but Different Creatures takes Circa Waves onto another level with a much grittier and fuller sound. This feeling of maturity as a band is encapsulated by lead singer Kieran Shudall’s willingness to take on pertinent issues in his song writing, with title track Different Creatures a song written about the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
In Wake Up, there is a much heavier tone from any of their previous work; this change towards a heavier sound is something that some bands can struggle with but the transition is seamless for Circa Waves. Fire That Burns again shows this heavier sound, particularly in the choruses. The build ups towards these choruses are effective and when the chorus comes around it is powerful and emphatic. Fire That Burns will be one to watch out for when seeing Circa Waves live because I have a feeling this will become their best live song.
Crying Shame is a particularly strong song off this album, as is Without You. In fairness, I find it difficult to overly criticise any of the songs on the album; when I had a first listen to the album I was relatively underwhelmed, but after a few listens the whole album grew on me, so it is worth persevering through a second or third listen if it doesn’t immediately grab you.
Stuck as a song reminds me of some of We Are Scientist’s music, which is a surprising influence to hear in Circa Waves music, but it is a welcome one, showing a band that is clearly diversifying their sound whilst still having a clear feel of that sound that made their first album such a success.
With Different Creatures, Circa Waves have solidified themselves within the upper echelons of British indie music, showcasing themselves as a really solid band, now with a strong back catalogue to pick from when choosing their setlists. Circa Waves will now take Different Creatures on tour across the UK before going on to Europe in April.