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Liverpool quartet Circa Waves recently released their debut album titled Young Chasers which features their lead single, “T-Shirt Weather,” which has over 10 million streams on Spotify.They are currently on a U.S. tour run before heading back to the UK for a string of sold out shows across Europe. Over the past few months, Circa Waves has performed at Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and on Conan as well. Recently, guest contributor Ryan Quint sat down with the group at their show with MS MR at Union Transfer to discuss the future of releasing music, their musical influences, touring and much more.
Back in March we had interviewed Circa Waves, just a few days before their debut album release, click here to read up on it.
Circa Waves are: Kieran Shudall (guitar / vocals), Joe Falconer (guitar), Sam Rourke (bass) & Colin Jones (drums).
Ryan: Last time we spoke was about 7 months, you guys only had the EP out. Now we have a full-length album. Young Chasers was just released a few weeks ago on September 18. So I’d first like to congratulate you on of all of the recent success.
Kieran: Thank you very much.
Ryan: Speaking of EPs and Albums, I heard an interview you guys recently did where Kieran said that he felt that with how the music industry is going, artists are going to only drop EPs and give out “little bursts of ideas” instead of full-length albums. Can you explain that thought process and why you feel you that way?
Kieran: I mean the album thing will always exist for certain artists but just because of how fast everything moves; I think that EP’s are a more efficient way of releasing music.
Sam: I can see that happening. Albums, as a concept, came around because of the technology. From vinyl. That’s how many songs you could fill on a record so they would. I think that right now technology is changing and people’s listening habits are changing as well. Maybe the regular format of releasing music won’t be albums anymore. I still love albums. We buy vinyl all the time but I could definitely see artists just releasing 1 or 2 EP’s every year instead.
Kieran: It’s quicker. It’s more efficient. Kind of like a half album.
Sam: It also allows for more freedom as well. 2 EP’s can be completely different but if you’re doing a bunch of tracks under 1 large umbrella of an album, it has to be a lot more consistent. It may be good for artists to challenge themselves on a more regular basis by releasing more projects.
Ryan: I think its really cool that each of you have sort of your own musical style whether its Kieran with the indie rock and old folk sound or Sam with Hip-Hop. How do these different styles help create the Circa Waves sound we hear on Young Chasers?
Kieran: It definitely influences the way we play our music or how we approach certain parts of songs. I’m not going to write a guitar part from a Dr. Dre record, I’ll write it to a sound that better pleases me. It just works in that way.
Sam: I definitely agree. Part of the sounds of how things worked out relate to our personal styles of music. Joe has this scrappy guitar style which comes from what he listens to.
Ryan: (to Sam) And would you be the Dr. Dre listener?
Sam: I don’t condone or endorse Dr. Dre but I suppose some of the bass lines that I’ve written have a Hip-Hop sensibility in some ways. It’s definitely an influence but it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it is.
Ryan: LA Daily News had very high praise for the album. Do you ever read reviews and see how the critics feel about your music or is it mainly your fans reaction and opinion that you care about?
Kieran: I read some reviews. If it’s a good review, I’ll read it. I don’t tend to go out of my way to read reviews anymore. Not because we get loads of bad reviews its just that there’s almost no point. We play shows in front of loads of people every night and that’s enough gratification for us.
Sam: It can go down two roads. You can either become incredibly self-obsessed because you have a larger world of things relating to you or you can go down the route of completely shutting it off and think that’s what we’ve done.
Kieran: Also, the more successful you get, the more people are going to dislike you. It’s fine with me. Music is made to separate people.
Ryan: Kieran, you mentioned that a lot of the album is inspired by early adolescence. Can you explain this more in-depth and did you have any specific moments that you recalled when creating this album?
Kieran: I’ve always wanted to capture that moment and period of time in my life and other people’s lives when I was writing. I just think it’s really interesting. That part from 16 to 25 is just so fucking mental.
Ryan: I’m smack in the middle of that right now.
Kieran: Yeah. It’s fucking weird right? I always loved the first Arctic Monkeys record, the first Strokes record. They’re all talking about their experiences of growing up and you can’t write about that forever. The 2nd record won’t be about that. It was just something I wanted to get out of my system.
Ryan: And its still fresh in your memory
Kieran: Yeah, it’s still fresh. I’m not that old yet. I’m getting further away from that time but it’s cool to think about it like a diary of what happened during those years of my life.
Ryan: I saw you were in Philadelphia yesterday morning. Did you spend a full off day here?
Kieran: We did the Radio 104.5 thing in the morning then we had to drive up to Albany for a show. It would’ve been nice if we had a day off here though. We were supposed to have a day off but as usual, it got cancelled.
Ryan: How was Albany then?
Kieran: It was great. Very good show.
Ryan: Was it your first time to upstate New York?
Kieran: Yeah. Not that we actually saw any of Albany but the venue was really cool. The drive up was very nice. We also just discovered Serial Podcast. It’s massive but it completely blew past us but it’s this woman investigating a murder case and each episode is her digging further into the case. So we just smashed through that the whole drive. It’s based on a real murder that happened in Baltimore and we drove past Baltimore while we were listening to it and I wanted to hide.
Ryan: Do you guys know The Wire? That will make you want to hide even more.
Sam: Yeah, it’s amazing. That was the first thing I thought of when we drove past Baltimore.
Ryan: Moving on, your current US Tour is coming to a close. You’re about head back to the UK and the rest of Europe. What has been the most enjoyable part about tour so far?
Kieran: It’s been really good. I’d say the highlight would be the day we were in LA. We did Conan in the morning and then went straight to The Troubadour and did an amazing show. That was a fucking great day.
Sam: Very stressful day.
Kieran: We also went through the Gilmore Girls town on the Warner Bros lot. Three great things that happened in one day.
Sam: and the Batman steps as well. It was a good day. We got to do the biggest TV show we’ve ever done.
Kieran: Also, America doesn’t feel like one country, it feels like 50 different little countries. We’ve seen bits of Seattle, bits of San Fran and just getting a little bit of the culture from everywhere is very enjoyable. It’s cool seeing how different each place is and how everywhere has its own proper identity.
Ryan: You guys were doing Festivals all summer, including Glastonbury and Lollapalooza, now that you’re back in clubs and theaters, which do you prefer?
Sam: I really like the way that it all works out. By the end of summer, we’re really ready to do the headline tour and then towards March we’re anxious to start festival season again. What I love is the balance between the two. We did about 30 festivals this year and by the end it’s just tiring.
Kieran: Festivals are also very low pressure. They have a party vibe and there’s shit loads of bands, people aren’t there to just see us. People are going to have a good time regardless. The pressure is off but you also try to win over a crowd. Where as headline shows, you’ve won straight away. The crowd has come to see you. You get applauded just from walking on the stage. That doesn’t happen at many festivals.
Ryan: I heard you guys had one of the best sets at Glastonbury
Sam: Apparently. According the polls. Was it the best set ever?
Kieran: Yeah we had the best set ever.
Ryan: I’m not sure but we’ll call it that.
Kieran: Just kidding but that was nice. We had played Glastonbury the year before but we were just starting out so no one knew who we were. It was good to be there but this year was our “arrival” at Glastonbury.
Ryan: I saw you were recently out at a karaoke bar with Ms. Mr recently – it seems like you guys are getting along on these run of shows.
Kieran: Yeah. We just met on this tour. They’ve been one of the most welcoming bands we’ve ever toured with. They give us free shit and they’re just really nice.
Ryan: Free shit is always a good thing. Last time we spoke, “Stuck in My Teeth” was your favorite song from the new album to play live, has that changed at all?
Kieran: It’s not. I fucking hate it (laughs). No, I don’t mind playing it. It is quite difficult for me to sing it though. But in the UK it’s always a big shout moment. The kids love that line in it (“I’m a little too young with not enough time”). Right now I really enjoy playing this track called “Talking Out Loud.” People don’t lose their shit to it but they do really so to enjoy it.
Sam: It’s a great break in the set.
Kieran: If it were the 80’s, we’d all light up cigarettes and play while smoking. It gives us a chance to regroup.
Ryan: You guys played “Stuck in My Teeth” as well as “T-Shirt Weather” on Conan. How was that experience?
Sam: It was really cool. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t realize how long the day was though. I just thought you rock’ed up and played and then left but we were there for about 7 hours. It was amazing though. We love Conan and his work on The Simpsons.
Ryan: He’s tall isn’t he?
Sam: He’s fucking huge. Normally, I feel out of place in photographs for being the tall one but not this time.
Kieran: He seems like this huge giant but he was really nice to us. You never really know with those people because they have to have that personality all the time. I would really love to just have a cup of tea with him but it was good. Doing Conan felt like one of those landmarks in this lifestyle where it’s something terrifying but then you overcome it and, to me, it was the most terrifying thing we’ve done. I’m not sure what will be next, hopefully something bigger but that was a huge achievement for us.
Ryan: Speaking of T-Shirt Weather, it has over 10 million streams on Spotify. Why do you think fans have connected most with that song so far?
Kieran: It’s quite hard to pinpoint why certain songs get a reaction like that because I would try to make more if I knew the answer. Maybe because people can relate to it because the content is about things that everyone remembers like what it was like when you were younger. It’s also one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever written so maybe its just that and the fact that it’s just “T-Shirt Weather” it’s a title that can easily stick in people’s minds. Who knows?
Sam: (to Kieran) You should get Owen Pallett to do a musical review of it. From Arcade Fire. He did a few pieces analyzing Beyoncé songs and it was really cool.
Kieran: For me, it’s all better to not break songs down too much. Otherwise, I’ll try and make some formula every time I write a new song.
Ryan: Lastly, you guys are nominated for Best New Act at this years Q Awards. Former winners of that award include Sam Smith, Django Django & Corinne Bailey Rae among many others. Are you honored knowing that you were just nominated for that award or are accolades only important to you if you win them?
Kieran: I already feel quite satisfied. I think that we’re the best out of all of the people on there but I don’t know if everyone does. It’s up to the people to decide. It is good to know that we’re on that level of the artists nominated though.
Sam: Is it cash if we win? Because if it is then I’m well up for it. If we did win it would be our first accolade ever, alongside the apparent “Best Act at Glastonbury” (Laughs)
Ryan: Thank you guys. Good luck with the rest of your tour.
Catch more of Circa Waves through their social media accounts.
Calling all who want to rekindle that love and passion… it’s time to get your smooth on! two.one.five magazine is giving two winners each a pair of tickets for 90’s R&B Fresh Fest at The Liacouras Center in Temple University for this Sunday October 11th, 2015.
Lineup includes the acts of Bell Biv Devoe, Brian McKnight, Guy, Chante Moore & Michel’le.
Winners (chosen randomly) will be notified via email Sunday October 11th (day of show) by NOON. Submit your first and last name and email by October 11th at 11:00am ET for your chance to win.
(Printed tickets available for pick-up, winner will receive details)
For more exclusive coverage, ticket giveaways, features, and live updates follow @215mag on twitter, and Instagram.
ALO formed almost two decades ago and releases albums (on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records) that are an exuberant mix of Pop/Rock and in-the-moment improv. The new album Tangle Of Time incorporates these elements, but also features a sound that evokes the California cool of the 70’s. All four members of the band contributed to the songwriting for this album adding to its freewheeling sound.
Author: Franceska Rouzard | Photographer: Molly Rose
Music, particularly rap, is a fiercely competitive industry. In Hip Hop, every rapper is “the greatest to ever do it” and there is very little room at the top. However, in recent years there has been a subtle yet significant shift. Alongside records about lavish lifestyles and beautiful women are the equally popular songs that preach about spreading love and self worth. Along with the change of subject matter in Hip Hop comes a surge of good sportsmanship – artists wanting to help other artists. And while I’ve seen a distinctive growth in this amongst creatives, none have exemplified the desire to see fellow artists prosper as much as Verbatum Jones, East Coast rapper and curator of the vibrant artist showcase, Vibezz. Jones is also well known for Everbody Eats, an intimate potluck performance.
I met Jones in college in 2010. His presence was commanding yet warm, like the leader of revolutionary movement – he was ambitious and passionate. When he speaks about music, it moves those around him into action. For this reason, no one was surprised when he announced that he would be curating Vibezz, a show featuring a plethora of local and brilliant but somewhat underrated artists.
With Vibezz, held on Saturday, February 7th, Jones expanded the spotlight to his musical extended family. Not to be confused with your typical showcase, the event’s energy was just as welcoming as its host. Jones was inspired by his Haitian background, remembering attending parties filled with home-cooked food and libations so guests were treated to homemade pizza muffins and goodie bags in addition to dope giveaways like Power Beats 2 Wireless headphones. However what set Vibezz apart is due entirely to the unmatched amount of audience participation. “Vibezz!” was shouted from every corner, some in reverence of the performers, others in excitement for music played by DJ Tank Top, cousin of Jones and New York native.
The evening began with soul singer Andrea Valle, the youngest of the artist collective. Contrasting her sweet appearance, her music was raw and soulful.
The tone of the event quickly changed with rapper Gabriel Wolf. His high energy and passion infected the crowd into unparalleled participation.
Jamir Milligan, accompanied by Andrew Aulenbach of Halfro on the piano, brought the audience back to a familiar place with a beautiful gospel rendition and covers of John Legend and Kanye West.
The night was closed out by The Bul Bey, accompanied by his live band Hazie Blu. I would definitely award him “Most Moving Performance” for his cover of Verbatum Jones’ single “Nappy”, a symbolic song of the theme for the event – share love and positive “vibezz.”
At the end of the night, I spoke with attendees over cigarettes outside of the venue. As we floated and recounted the best parts of the evening, each of us were left with a single question: “When/where will Vibezz land next?”
Jesse Boykins III dislpayed his supreme talent on the Union Transfer stage Saturday, May 24th before a certainly satiated audience. Opening acts brought the crowd to Spring Garden St. early and showed off Philly’s hometown products Beano – with a special appearance from Chill Moody, soul singer Jacqueline Constance, and singer-songwriters Justin Graham, and Domi Jo, who lit the fuse, and Boykins III subsequently ignited the night with his signature dynamic flare. Photos from the night are below – and in case you missed it earlier this week, be sure to check out the two.one.five Exclusive interview with Jesse Boykins III.
Hailing from the UK, Morcheeba, along with multi-instrumentalist and VERY talented opening act Conner Youngblood, made its latest stop on their international tour at the TLA Thursday night May 15th, and did not disappoint those in attendance – ranging from fans that have followed along since the mid-90’s to a new wave that only recently learned about this well-polished outfit.
Promoting their new album ‘Head Up High’ released last October, Morcheeba welcome anyone to experience their smooth, stylish showcase, and offer their appreciation for the active participants. Flashing high-fashion semblance while avoiding dripping in bourgeois attitude is a commendable trait. Rather they let the audience in with a warm invitation.
Gimme Your Love Video
Morcheeba consists of a bassist, drummer, guitarist, and keys/organ player, while layering in a DJ on the decks to mix in scratches, samples, and effects. Upon that foundation stands the prominent and seemingly ageless wonder lead vocalist Skye Edwards and her self-made high-fashion wardrobe and stunning smile. Refreshingly embracing the current state of omni-present technology, Skye stepped down into the first row for a mid-show selfie and took another camera on stage to film from her perspective before handing it back to the gleeful audience members. Her fans even offered up gift baskets of flowers and fruit, which she warmly accepted.
The band seamlessly weaved from one song into another, serving on-time varietals of neo-soul, trip-hop, reggae, rock and roll, and eclectic grooves (this Youtube mix displays their varying styles). Studio recordings conjure up some comparisons to Thievery Corporation.
The crisp and serenading vocals sat right on top of the mix, finding the pocket and filling the room with a comfortable reverb – hats off to the sound man for his work. The rest of the scene was lovers and friends, dancers and swayers, soaking in the sights and sounds coming from the stage, and giving back their appreciation. No need to pay for VIP to be treated that way on this occasion.
Friday April 18, 2014 – photos and story by Aran Hart
Stephen “Ragga” Marleyfilled the Trocadero Theatre Friday night with the special sounds blending his namesake’s classics, his own hits, and introducing his latest album Revelation Part 2: Fruit of Life (look for its release later in 2014), gathering fans from all around the Philadelphia and Tri-State areas.
The night opened with Stephen’s son Jo Mersa engaging the audience with a young generation style of conscious lyrics and “ghetto-youths” dancehall. Jo Mersa studio tracks like (Comfortable), cut through clear but his live performance still needs improvement.
Jo Mersa – Comfortable
Dancehall artist Wayne Marshall followed with smooth lover’s rock steady riddims like (Good Love) that moved the crowd, especially those who came with their lover, to feel all right. Marshall can switch up to some bad man tunes (I Know) over dance based sounds so his show mixes both styles his fans have come to expect.
Wayne Marshall – I Know
When the main attraction, Stephen Marley, stepped out in his usual denim attire the crowd crescendoed to greet the reggae superstar with love, which was certainly the theme, and one reciprocated throughout the performance. Standing front and center with his signature lion-art designed guitar, Marley interacted with the crowd with radiant smiles and that ever-so familiar raspy Marley trademark voice, receiving warm responses as his band dropped into recognizable tunes, or announced the newest premiers. Wayne Marshall made a quick cameo appearance, and even reggae stars Capleton & Sizzla jumped out in front of the bright lights to fill the room with excitement performing the album’s new song, that actually dabbles into EDM and dub-step styles, (Rock Stone).
Stephen Marley Ft. Sizzla & Capleton – Rock Stone
The Bob Marley classic Could You Be Loved jammed on as Stephen bid farewell, until next time, to the crowd who cheered him back on stage for a heartfelt encore that concluded with another new premier of the beautiful acoustic ballad (Celebration)- featuring Jo Mersa. The chorus sings: Cuz tonight / We ‘gon have a celebration of our life/ Party from night / ‘Til morning light / We all have a good time / Good vibrations.
Revelation Part 2 features a neo-soulful and hip-hop intertwined track with Philly’s own Black Thought (Thorn Or a Rose). This, along with the aforementioned Rock Stone, are proof that Marley continues to successfully bridge the gap between different genres and further cements his prowess as a critically acclaimed producer in the industry beyond the reggae landscape.
This was indeed a celebration, and a revelation, with host Stephen “Ragga” Marley.
Stephen Marley Ft. Black Thought – Thorn Or a Rose
Friday March 14 – Liacouras Center – Story and photos by Aran Hart
The wildly popular Ellie Goulding performed in front of a sold out crowd of avid supporters Friday night at Temple’s Liacouras Center, as part of her Spring 2014 US Tour. Goulding, the British Indie pop – synth pop – folktronica singer and song-writer shined bright in the glitzy blue and white lighting, sporting a black outfit and signature blonde locks.
Her most dedicated fans arrived as early as 1:30pm (showtime was 9:30pm), to grab the an upclose look at their coveted starling. When asked what they thought of the show, words like “heavenly” and “amazing” came gushing out to describe their ‘starry-eyed’ love affair. Much of the first 10 rows held up bright fluorescent cutout hearts with personal messages that Ellie smiled at to show her appreciation.
This was a true Pop performance, much less along the dub/chill-step lines she often toes, laced with top-tier music industry staging, back-up singers, instrumentalists, and stadium sound. Each note played and sung came through clear though the back-up harmony vocalists needed more decibels in the mix and her duet acoustic guitar and piano performance lasted a bit too long. But the truth is, this was no doubt Ellie’s show. The band was dressed in all black and the light only dimly lit their stations. Goulding was front and center in the spot light with her floor toms, effect pads, occasional acoustic guitar, and of course the mic. She claimed to be shy of talking but had no reservation dancing and belting out her ballads, playing to the crowd, and offering sincere thanks between songs.
She might not be your style, she may come off too soft, or too teeny-pop, but Goulding’s success is not up for debate. In fact, it is downright impressive – just check her online play count and accolades, wow. This can be attributed to her unique and mystical voice that remarkably blends so seamlessly with the gritty electro sounds of the dub-step world, lends itself to the catchy pop genre, and serves the emotional and freeing themes EDM songs so often feature. That versatility has Ellie getting remixed by the biggest DJ’s, jet setting on worldwide tours, being licensed for feature film soundtracks (i.e. Divergent), singing out through your speakers, and/or on major sound systems during a late-night party mix.
Her latest 2013 album titled Halcyon Days points to the freedom, joy, and carefree nature of youth. We’ll surely be hearing a lot more from the 27 year old electro-pop superstar for many years to come.