“An album of our times, ‘Sad Happy’ (out March 13th on Prolifica Inc / [PIAS]  is formed of two diametrically distinctive sides, released individually as ‘Sad’ and ‘Happy’. ‘Happy’ was released earlier this year and is available to stream here. The ‘Sad’ side will be united with the ‘Happy’ side to form the full physical ‘Sad Happy’ release on CD and vinyl formats on 13th March via Prolifica Inc / [PIAS].”

Hi Kieran! How are you and Circa Waves, and where are you at the moment?
Good. I just ate a custard slice. I’m in a good place.

Your upcoming Circa Waves album ‘Sad Happy’ looks at fading relationships, self-deprecation, and anxieties of modern-day life. Which experiences in your lives have inspired you to explore these themes?
It’s general everyday life, the people you encounter. Every song is about a different scenario. Jacqueline is about a new mother I knew who was struggling. San Fran was about America, and the grass is always greener feeling we are all slightly obsessed with.

You have also stated that the album is hugely inspired by your surroundings in your Liverpool home and your love for the city. Where are some of your favourite places to perform and why?
I loved playing in the barfly and the Zanzibar growing up. they are about 300 cap each, and if you’ve got enough mates to come it can feel like a proper raucous show. That’s where I felt the first buzz for playing live.

Do you try to avoid social media and using your phones because of polarizing articles or “extreme halves” like you have mentioned? What effect do you think see-sawing through extreme emotions has on our brains over time?
I think we are riddled with anxiety; almost overly informed on all the terrible things that are happening. Back in the day, you would buy a paper in the morning and that would be your fill of news for the day. Now it’s a minute by minute play by play of disasters and misery. That’s got to do something to people’s minds.

Circa Waves interview

Are the people who may have inspired lyrics on ‘Sad Happy’ aware of it? Do you think they will realise when they hear the album?
My cousin Jacqueline is very happy about it. She was conjuring around the house at Christmas.

Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Arctics, Strokes, Maccabees, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Nick Drake, Drake, Gorillaz, Scott Walker, Foo Fighters, The Killers, Velvet Underground, Bowie, and The Beatles – off the top of my head.

In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what would be your plan of action?
Supermarket? Is that where you’re meant to go?

What’s been your most embarrassing moment?
I would never commit that to print.

What advice would you give to students who are aspiring musicians?
Fill your life with music; it’s there to be enjoyed. Play music and make music with your friends. Don’t think of it as a career, just make great art that you can be proud of. The rest will follow.

‘Sad Happy’ is the second album you will have released in a year. You guys are obviously very busy! What else do you have in store for your fans this year?
Fan parties, incredible new merch, special gigs, etc. etc.

The full Circa Waves album ‘Sad Happy‘ released on 13/03/2020

Circa Waves interview by Elliot Norman