When fans think of Circa Waves’ first album, Young Chasers, they are no doubt reminded of warm summers and teenage romance. It was a sound associated with the Liverpool four piece almost exclusively, and was what listeners expected from the follow-up— that was, until Different Creatures was announced and ‘Wake Up’ was released as a sneak peak in to the band’s new direction… and boy, was it a new direction indeed. To put it in to perspective— ifYoung Chasers isTaylor Swift, Different Creatures is 1989. Circa Waves are evidently hell-bent on proving that they have far more to offer than your average, run-of-the-mill indie band and they’re doing so by delving a little deeper and showing listeners a much darker side of their existence.
The album opens with the aforementioned ‘Wake Up’ then leads in to ‘Fire That Burns’, another track that was released prior to the album. Lead singer Kieran Shudall was talented before, but something new has arisen within him that sees a vocal delivery like no other. He’s hitting notes that he wouldn’t have dreamed of even attempting back on the debut, which ultimately has Circa Waves’ new sound presenting as much more mature.
‘Goodbye’ draws from some of the band’s much more heavier influences, using in-your-face guitar riffs and a monumental buildup that most other indie bands would think twice about incorporating for fear of alienating some of their fanbase. Lucky for Circa Waves, the general consensus is that fans love their new sound. It’s a win-win situation— older fans are more than happy to get on board with it, and the changes mean that they’ve opened themselves up to a wider audience. However, for anyone who’s feeling a little reminiscent, ‘Out On My Own’ is much more akin with the previous incarnation of the band.
Circa Waves themselves have insisted that this album is “the future of rock music”. It’s a bold claim to make but they really have provided the evidence to back up their claim with this one. A particularly brilliant track comes in the form of ‘Stuck’, which is made up of angular melodies and a huge chorus that has already proven to be a crowd pleaser in the few live appearances the band have made so far.
Different Creatures draws to a close with the easy listening ‘Old Friends’, putting the album to bed with the same hand, now gentle, that had been coming at listeners full force in the very beginning. The truth is, Circa Waves may have decided to establish themselves as a much more broody, serious band, but at the end of the day they’ve still got that magic touch that had fans fall in love with them in the first place.