Interview: Circa Waves
Since their very first release back in 2013, the double A-sided single “Get Away/Good For Me,” Liverpool, England based indie pop/rock group Circa Waves have earned massive amounts of critical acclaim and won over droves of fans with their infectious groves and crisp songwriting. Ahead of the 2020 release of their ambitious 2-part album Sad Happy, the group continued winning over fans with teaser singles “Jacqueline” and “Move To San Francisco” and their accompanying music videos. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Kieran Shudall (vocalist/guitarist) and Joe Falconer (guitarist) about the new album, why they chose to release it in 2-parts, both of the singles and their music videos, their songwriting process, and much more!
1.Your new album Sad Happy is essentially two EP’s coming together to form one complete album over two parts – the “Happy” side will release 1/10/20, and the “Sad” on 3/13/20. This is an ambitious decision on how to release this new batch of music. Why did you decide to release it in this way and how much did today’s modern platforms and the way people listen to music effect this decision?
It all began once we'd finished the sessions for the album and were discussing track-listings. We knew we wanted to call the album Sad Happy after the song of the same name. As we were going through potential running orders, we realized that it worked if we split the songs into two categories. The idea of staggering the release came a bit after. We thought it would be a really interesting way of playing with the traditional way of releasing a record. I think with the way music is consumed these days you can afford to mess around with it; all bets are off!
2. With the “Happy” side releasing first, tell us a little bit about that batch of songs. What can people expect from them – and then on the flipside, what differences will they hear when the “Sad” side releases that Happy didn’t offer them?
Happy is all about people and joy. Real life. I want it to help people escape the current anxieties of today. The Sad side is a bit heavier lyrically, but still feels like it has hope.
3. When both sides of the album come together, how will the different type of songs mesh with one another to form a cohesive body of work that sounds like a full album, rather than 2 completely different EP’s?
Because all the songs were recorded within the same sessions and the plan to separate them came later, there's definitely consistency across all of it.
4. You gave us our first taste of your new music with the single “Jacqueline.” Why did you feel that this was the best first representation of your new music?
It was the last song that was added to the album, but it was one we all fell in love with immediately. We wanted to come back on a high with something catchy and upbeat.
5. The song also gave us a wonderful music video to accompany it. Tell us a little bit about the concept of the video, how it all came together, and how fans reacted to it upon its official debut on YouTube?
The concept can be summarized as a conga line going rogue. The directors Bousher & Gee came to us with an idea and we knew we had to see it made.
6. Just a few days ahead of the release of the “Happy” side (the second week of January), you offered fans a second look at your new music with “Move To San Francisco.” Why did you feel that this was the perfect song to follow “Jacqueline” and the best tune to hype the release week with?
The instrumentation is pretty upbeat, so it does it exactly what it needs to do when you're releasing an album called Happy!
7. Like “Jacqueline” before it, “Move To San Francisco” also had an accompanying music video – though this one was self-shot. What did you feel you could showcase by self-shooting the video to enhance the song more then bringing in the professionals to create a concept, two-day shoot, etc?
I think it's an interesting insight into us as a band. This is us when there's no-one else around, so that's always going to be quite a pure thing. But equally it's pretty cheap to film a music video about San Francisco on four phones whilst you happen to already be playing a show in San Francisco.
8. Your songwriting know how is always praised by the media. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process, how the songs start out, how they eventually come together, etc?
Songs start out generally from making tracks on logic; Becoming inspired by the music. I love challenging myself to write music to something that doesn’t sound like Circa Waves.
9. You have a huge tour lined up for the first part of 2020 that sees you heading to Germany, France, and your homeland of UK to name a few stops. What can fans expect from these shows and will they get a sneak peak at what the “Sad” side of your album is going to offer, or will you hold off playing those songs until the release in March?
We pride ourselves on being a good live band and that's not going to change on this tour. A Circa Waves gig is always a good time and the UK tour will be our best yet. Both sides will be out by then so all the songs off the record are fair game; until then, though, Sad is under wraps - a closely guarded secret!
10. We’re all about helping the next generation at allageszine.com, so we always end all our Q&A’s with this question. What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with their first band today?
Just play and write as much as you can; you're only going to get better and better.