With another sterling single just out, a debut album imminent and a huge homecoming show set for November, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke speaks to Circa Waves’ Kieran Shudall.
“We want it to be a grand finale. We’ve never done a headline show in Liverpool before… we want to give back to where we’re from,” says Kieran Shudall of Circa Waves when Getintothis drops in for a chat with the founder, chief songwriter and de facto leader of those most masterful of garage rock retailers.
He’s referring to the band’s upcoming Kazimier slot on November 20, the final date of their imminent Young Chasers tour, and raises a slightly scandalous truth: though the band are undoubtedly at the vanguard of Liverpool’s latest breed, a lot of those still on home turf haven’t had the largest of live exposures to the foursome.
“We’ve done the NME tour, we did the Sound City gig too which was a headline but still felt part of something else, so this feels like it’s our first real ‘doing it on our own’ thing,” he continues, hardly a man unaware of his position. “All of the songs in the set are about Liverpool, and they’re about people from Liverpool, so playing in front of that crowd to me is dead important.”
Not that they can really be blamed for leapfrogging the toilet circuit, it was an airing of early effort Young Chasers on Zane Lowe‘s Radio One show that saw attention crash down upon Shudall with unexpected instance, and before long the group had been propelled to the attention of the national press and garnered a coveted GIT Award nod.
That cut and dry narrative tends to overlook ‘a lot of fumbling in the dark’ however.
“The band didn’t even exist when he played us, it was just me on my own,” the singer points out. “I’d been working on songs for a while, not looking to start a band at all, then I put Young Chasers online and Zane ended up playing it.”
“It isn’t as simple as ‘Zane played us now we’re massive!'” he continues. “It was more like, ‘Shit, I need to get a band together!‘ Luckily, I was working at Sound City at the time [the track was played]. I’d met people there and that was generally how the band started.”
It’s been quite the ascension from those scrappy formations, with So Long, their latest in a sublime run of singles and available to stream below, representing yet more affirmation of their prodigious knack for barnstorming guitar-pop. “It’s essentially a song about unrequited love but from an outside perspective – me looking in and seeing a mate being turned down,” says its author on its theme.
“As a song we were never even gonna record it in the sessions, but I just recorded a really rough demo and we ended up doing it last minute.
“It happened to turn out really good so we decided to release it as a single in the end. It’s been a bit of a dark horse from the start” he continues, and it’s a good job the track did indeed see the light of day – the tune holding its own among the greatest of their efforts so far.
It precedes the group’s long awaited debut album, which Shudall informs us should see the light of day early next year.
“I think the release will be around February or March next year, maybe with another two singles before that” he expands. “We’re just toying with the amount of songs to put on it at the moment; I want eleven but it might end up with more like thirteen on it.”
The majority of that aforementioned string of singles are set to appear on the record, he informs us. “People know [the singles]and I’m happy with them so they’ll probably make the record, then there’ll be four or five new tracks… we’ve got about 17 or 18 tracks to choose from [in total].”
A singles compilation does not a good album make, however, a fact the frontman’s well aware of.
“We’re still putting the album together in terms of tracklisting” he tells us. “It’s all about making the album flow I guess, as we don’t have that many downbeat songs. It’ll take a lot of hard hitting tunes, we’ve got a couple of tracks that are slower paced but still quite big sounding, so you’ll have to judge for yourself but I think it works.”
Only time will tell whether Circa Waves can take properly to their debut, but it’s safe to say the tunes are in the safest of hands.
It’ll be an agonising wait for the much-hyped finished article. But, for now, we can content ourselves with yet another marvellous sampler in the form of So Long, and with next month’s gig, a long-overdue homecoming for four of Liverpool’s finest.