Co-produced by Alan Moulder, the pop sensibility on Circa Waves' second record Different Creatures is certainly still there, but now it comes buried in up-to-11 alt-rock guitars. It is very much not the sound of a band giving people more of what they know that people want from them. In every respect, it is the sound of a band who are going with their hearts, changing up because they have to, taking a risk and moving forward. From the very first moment, it sounds like a different, louder band, and showcases Kieran Shudall's disenchantment with the world he sees, with more in common with Foo Fighters or even Nirvana than with, say, The Strokes.
Alongside more personal songs like opener "Wake Up" – "about coming to terms with your demons" – and "A Night On The Broken Tiles" – "about drinking on the road, and finding yourself intoxicated with the strangest mindsets" – are songs like "Different Creatures": the "20,000 souls" referenced in one of its lines coming "after Britain had agreed to let in 20,000 Syrians." There are songs, too, like "Stuck" – with its reference to "poisonous TV" – that express those frustrations with a generation glued to Instagram, and others, like "Out On My Own," that deal with the male anxiety and depression.
The heavier sound, also, has brought a renewed excitement to Circa Waves. "We started playing them live in the room, and there was so much more energy than the first record," says Shudall. "I think the songs are big enough, and I think we're easily good enough live, for us to be as big as whoever now. I don't see what the difference is between us and the bands above us anymore. I've come to a point where I'm like, ‘Why the fuck not?'"