Circa Waves - Young Chasers

by Alice Woods

Every year there seems to be the new “it” guitar band, and this year, Circa Waves are one of the top contenders. Having only formed in 2013, they’ve already put out two singles (both of which feature on this album) and an EP, as well as playing various festivals, such as Glastonbury, where I saw them last year. Having kept tabs on them since, I found that Young Chasers proves them as one of the strongest new bands this year.

In Young Chasers¸ Circa Waves adopt the tried and tested formula of punchy guitars, energetic percussion, and lyrics about sun, summer memories, and being youthful. Regardless, they’re incredibly successful in pulling it off. The entire album has a consistent tempo, never showing any sign of slowing up throughout. All the songs are short and sweet, none of them clocking over four minutes. As debuts go, it’s a solid effort.

The first song on the album, Get Away, is their first single, so will be familiar to current fans, and thus is a strong opener for the album. It captures all the elements of Circa Waves immediately, the sun-drenched instrumentals, sharp percussion, and catchy choruses. On the other hand, at three and a half minutes, it’s one of the longer songs on the album, and so I think it would have worked better midway through. The following tracks such as T-Shirt Weather (my personal favourite on the album), Fossils, and My Love will soon become indie anthems, repeated during festival coverage and on the radio. They’re short and sweet, hedonistic and playful, and contain all the elements of a true summer banger. As we delve deeper into the album, we begin to see another side to Circa Waves’ obsession with youth, as they start focusing not only on their hopes, but doubts. The lyrics “Lost it and blamed it on someone / Am I too young to keep this going?” in Lost It highlight some sort of hesitancy and doubting of the future. It casts a shadow of worry amidst the exuberant happiness; this however, prevents the lyrics from becoming too samey.

Songs such as Young Chasers, Good For Me, and Best Years are curt and relentless, and really show the capability that Circa Waves have at being able to produce excellent music. Stuck In My Teeth, with the lyric “I’m a little too young with not enough time,” continues to capture the coming-of-age vibe of the whole album; the desire to do as much as possible in an ephemeral youth. All the songs on the album clearly display the best components of what makes an indie anthem: a catchy chorus, each of the instruments clear and used to the best of their ability, slick guitar solos, and lyrics about youth, hopes, and fears that many will relate to. The deluxe edition contains more new songs in a similar vein (Catch My Breath and 100 Strangers are standout tracks), however this clocks up the track listing to an impressive 17 songs, which is a gripe of mine, as the punchiness of the album begins to wear thin after a while.

Overall, Young Chasers is a solid debut from the Liverpudlian quartet. Its influences are obvious, with shades of popular noughties indie such as The Libertines, The Kooks, and Razorlight, and as such it might be easy to pass it off as another middle-of-the-road guitar album. Despite this, I think the songs hold their own ground in being honest and sincere. They’re simple, easy to listen to, and overall enjoyable. The album is a confident output that displays Circa Waves’ trademarks and capabilities, and shows that they deserve their position as rising stars.