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Circa Waves

UK outfit Circa Waves hope to return to Australia to tour in support of their just-released debut album, Young Chasers.  NATALIE ROGERS reports.

Growing up in Liverpool, you’re forced to ask yourself one simple question – Lennon or McCartney? 

At least that’s the way Kieran Shudall tells it. Though it appears that the Circa Waves frontman and chief songwriter is in a quandary – he refuses to pick a side.

“But for those two people to have found each other and started a band is such a fortunate thing,” he says. “It must have been fate – it’s so bizarre to think that it actually happened.”

Shudall’s own chance encounter, however, happened at the Liverpool Sound City Festival in 2013, where he met fellow band members Sam, Colin and Joe. Little did he know at the time that it would lead to the start of something big.

“We all needed to be in a band at that point in time. We all sort of felt like lost causes,” Shudall says. “We were all in separate bands that weren’t going well and doing jobs that weren’t very good – in fact we hated them. So I think Circa Waves came at the right time for everyone. It’s been a salvation for us and has changed all of our lives drastically. From having zero money and working jobs that we hated, we’re now getting to travel the world and live our dreams.”

And now they have a debut album under their belt; Young Chasers was released late last month. According to Shudall, they wanted to maintain the lo-fi quality that his home recordings produced, and did so by simply playing. “That’s something we admire about a lot of debut records, the fact that it sounds like a live band playing… we recorded these songs simply by all playing together, just like we would at a live show, and that’s why it sounds the way it does.”

As simplistic as that sounds, Shudall believes that the raw power and authentic quality would have been almost impossible to recreate without the help of engineer, mixer and producer Dan Grech, who has worked with the likes of Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, Kaiser Chiefs and The Kooks.

“In terms of a safe pair of hands, you don’t really get any safer than Dan Grech. He’s so collaborative. We both worked together on everything,” Shudall says. “He loves taking on everyone’s ideas and trying to work out how to get the sounds that are in my head onto the record, if you know what I mean.”

While it may sound like everything was hunky dory during the recording process, Shudall hinted that there may have been a few rows over choosing the final track list. “We recorded about 18 or 19 tracks – it was quite difficult to whittle it down to those 13. So we decided the best way to keep the peace was to include four or five songs that didn’t make the cut onto the deluxe record and that way everyone was happy.”

Young Chasers is brimming with English indie-rock anthems. Their singles, Get Away and So Long, have become instant favourites among fans of early-sounding Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and The Strokes – and their latest, T-Shirt Weather, is no exception. “It’s horrible here in England, so I feel bad that I wrote a song about t-shirt weather when it’s freezing cold. Australia was definitely on my mind,” Kieran says.

“We’ve been down to play for you guys twice in less than 12 months. We played at your Splendour In The Grass festival last year – that was a mad gig! I think we might be playing it again this year. I hope that we do.”

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