The English indie rock band Circa Waves, hailing from Liverpool, released its sophomore album Different Creatures just last week.

Kieran Shudall, Sam Rourke, Colin Jones and Joe Falconer have made quite the jump in their sound since their 2015 release Young Chasers.

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The guys are no longer light-hearted young men reminiscing about the good old days, as they did in their classic “T-Shirt Weather.” Instead, Circa Waves is back with a more mature, bolder and darker sound, and they are on their way to becoming a tried and true rock band. The sound of the band’s debut album, Young Chasers, has not been completely rejected, but it has definitely been cast aside with Different Creatures.

Lower and darker guitar tones and increased drum lines set the tone for the heavier lyrics, with the exception of the slower, relaxed tunes like “Love’s Run Out” and “Old Friends,” that provide a break from the intensity of the rest of the album. Other than a select few tracks, Circa Waves puts their foot on the gas and doesn’t let up.

The transition from the light-hearted youthfulness to the intensified darkness perhaps reflects greater changes the band has experienced in recent times. Interestingly, in an interview with The Independent, lead singer and guitarist Shudall said the band wasn’t afraid to get political on their new release.

“People are scared of saying something wrong,” Shudall said. “I was always fearful of saying anything, because I don’t know much about politics. But now I’m kind of like, just because I don’t follow it too closely doesn’t mean I don’t care about things. That’s why I wrote the song ‘Different Creatures’ on Syrian refugees.”

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Though the song has generally vague lyrics, the explicit mention of closing borders definitely suggests that Circa Waves has departed from themes of young love to those more serious.

Circa Waves is not afraid to take risks, and it has paid off. Different Creatures is a successful compilation of bold tones and emotional depth.

Rating: 4/5