Getting just one album into the top 20 on the U.K. Albums Chart is a tremendous feat; getting five albums into the top 20 is another thing entirely.
It’s even more impressive when it means all of your albums have made the top 20, which is what Circa Waves achieved upon the release of their new record, Never Going Under, last month.
The commercial consistency is testament to the Liverpool band’s enduring ability to pump out catchy and quality indie rock, the type of guitar music that’s always touted as being on the demise but invariably defies the critical naysayers.
Chosen as triple j’s feature album, Never Going Under saw lead singer Kieran Shuddall reflecting on the future, pondering what the world look like when his children are all grown up.
“The songs on the album are written differently from the previous work we’ve put out,” the singer explained about the album. “They are written from the perspective of my son and also from my own current experience of the climate today.”
Australian fans will be afforded the opportunity to see Circa Waves very soon, when the band heads Down Under in May for their first headline tour of the country. It will also be their first appearance in Australia in over seven years. Tickets are available for the tour via Handsome Tours, and you can find the band’s tour dates below.
After Circa Waves produced such a thoughtful album, Tone Deaf got Shuddall to discuss each track on Never Going Under in more depth, which you can check out below.
Get the latest Indie news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Circa Waves’ Never Going Under is out now via Lower Third/PIAS.
‘Never Going Under’
I wrote this song in an attempt to make the listener feel extremely powerful and resilient, and feel like they could wake up in the morning and attack the day. Not in an aggressive way, just in a positive walk-down-the-street-like-a-cool-dude kind of vibe. If this song doesn’t make you feel like doing a workout, then I don’t know what will. You know what I mean?
‘Do You Wanna Talk’
This song is about drinking too much alcohol, which I’ve done. Sometimes I think everybody does that a little bit, but it’s about that. It’s also about when you’re drunk and you think that you’re really cool, but you know, ultimately you’re not very cool.
‘Hell On Earth’
This song is called ‘Hell On Earth’ because every now and again it feels like it’s hell on earth. There are always problems in the news, and I just wanted to write a song that was like, “isn’t it annoying how much bad stuff there is in the world?” Just to get it off my chest more than anything. I think once you’ve danced to the song, you can kind of forget about your worries and move on and just feel good afterwards. At least, that’s how I feel.
This song is about imagining that your partner has passed away, and you love them so much that you really want them to haunt you. So ghosts generally are pretty scary, right? But this is the idea that you love somebody so much that you really want them to come back and haunt you and do all those ghosty-type things. It’s a love song in a weird way.
‘Carry You Home’
This song is about when my son was born and we were stuck in the hospital for five days and all I wanted to do was carry him home and look after him. It was this new, all-encompassing human experience that I’d not felt before, where I had this urge to protect somebody so much and it was this new kind of love that I felt, so I had to write a song about it.
This is a song about coming from the North! More specifically about being born and raised in Liverpool. It’s a place I love and have so much pride in.
This tune is all about imagining what social media will be like when my kid is 18 in 15 years’ time. It’s a scary thought! It has such a hold of us now, I can only imagine what it’s going to do to us in the coming years.
‘Want It All Today’
This song was actually the first co-write of Circa Waves. Sam, our bass player, sent me the piano (he’s a very good piano player), and I just loved it so much that I had to write a vocal line on top of it. And for some reason, the jauntiness of it made me think of how much I dislike reality TV.
I don’t know why I started singing about it, but I have a strong disdain for terrible reality TV, where all the dudes have six-packs. It sort of gives young people this idea that you have to be perfect, and it’s not really real, is it? Yeah, I’d rather watch Neighbours.
I kind of set out on a mission to write the most festival-y song I could, what I imagine would work perfectly on a big stage somewhere. This was originally called ‘Festival Song’ on my computer, and I just wanted the most authentic sort of vibe I could think of. ‘Golden Days’ seemed like a cool title for it.
This song is about mental health and looking out for your friends when they’re down. I think it’s important for men to talk as much as possible, and for women too obviously, but men are particularly rubbish at talking to each other. It’s about keeping tabs on each other and making sure you’re aware of how people are feeling and getting things off your chest. So the message is hold on and keep on going. And blokes need to chat more.
‘Living In The Grey’
This is probably the most cinematic song that we’ve ever done. I imagine some sort of mountain range in my head when I listen to this song. It features this cool instrument called the Mellotron, which is like a fake violin sort of thing, which I distorted loads and that creates that cool riff thing with loads of atmosphere.
Circa Waves 2023 Australian Tour
More information available via handsometours.com
Tuesday, May 23rd
Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Wednesday, May 24th
Princess Theatre, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday, May 25th
Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, May 27th
The Rechabite, Perth, WA
Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
Subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine
Subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine