KAWALA today release their highly anticipated debut album ‘Better With You’ on EMI Records. To celebrate, the band have released a special live video for the album track ‘Ticket To Ride’, previously featured in the blockbuster Fifa 21 game. Watch here
Containing a spectrum of thoughts, feelings and observations ‘Better With You’, is driven by golden melodies, danceable afrobeat-inspired rhythms and immediate harmonies that create a truly encompassing atmosphere across its ten songs. The album follows a series of acclaimed EPs and live shows from the North London band over the last two years which has seen them establish a community focused fanbase across the country.
Fittingly, their debut album is a celebration of this communality, with a lyrical thread running through its songs charting the band’s growth as people and as artists. The record’s artwork helps reflect this, with the band having chosen to ask a number of individuals who have helped them along the way to paint or draw different panels that eventually formed the overall mosaic of the cover.
On the album itself tracks like singles ‘Searching’, ‘Jesse C’Mon’ and ‘Hypnotized’ and the (cheekily named, non-cover) ‘Ticket To Ride’, along with new tracks ‘Marathon’ and ‘Echoes’ are filled with an intoxicating hopefulness that unfurls into bright, pop moments, sure to stir minds and bodies. While On the flip side of the coin, songs ‘Jesse C’Mon’ and ‘Good Like This’ provide a more immersive musical landscape that offers a contemplative, personal vibe.
Ultimately, anyone who hears ‘Better with You will be immediately aware of the bigger spirit that drives everything this band does. KAWALA’s debut is an album that offers a strong, vivid connection as its irresistible rhythms ripple around a yearning, emotional core. This might be a record about life’s journeys, but it is also one full of songs that will illuminate the road ahead.
The album marks the culmination of years of work which has seen the band grow from humble begging’s to the world class act they are today. Along the way they have done everything from play socially distanced shows in UK parks (after the first easing of restrictions in 2020), appear on FIFA 2021, write and perform in their own YouTube sitcom (the mad-cap Paradise Heights) and become ambassadors for the Music Venue Trust. Each step on the journey has seen the band grow and expand on what KAWALA means to their community.
At the end of 2021 the band headed out on their biggest UK and Ireland tour to date which culminated in a emotional sold-out show at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, the venue at the heart of the London community where the band spent their formative years.
“We grew up just around the corner from such a prestigious venue” says the band. “It always felt like the pinnacle of success to us when we were younger and just starting out. We couldn’t explain in words how it felt to achieve this dream of ours, it meant so much to us and our amazing fans there felt that too. The things you wait the longest for are always over the fastest”
The band are going to be following up these shows with their 2022 headline tour which will see them taking in even bigger venues and finish at the legendary Shepherds Bush Empire. The boys will also be playing a number of instore shows at record stores around the country around the release of ‘Better With You’ in March.
2022 INSTORE ACOUSTIC TOUR
Fri 4th March – HMV – Liverpool (12.30pm)
Fri 4th March – HMV – March (5pm)
Sat 5th March – Crash Records – Leeds (1pm)
Sat 5th March – Beyond Vinyl – Newcastle (6pm)
Sun 6th March – Assai Records – Dundee (12pm)
Sun 6th March- Assai Records, Edinburgh (3pm)
Sun 6th March- Strip Joint, Glasgow (6pm)
Mon 7th March – HMV – Birmingham (12.30pm)
Mon 7th March – Rough Trade – Nottingham (6pm)
Tues 8th March – Rough Trade East – London (6pm)
Weds 9th March – Cult Hero – Brighton (midday)- SIGNING ONLY
Weds 9th March – Vinilo – Southampton (4pm)
Weds 9th March – Vinilo, Bournemouth (6pm)
Thurs 10th March – Banquet Records – Kingston (6pm)
2022 HEADLINE TOUR
Thurs 7 Apr – Stylus – Leeds
Fri 8 Apr – The Caves – Edinburgh
Sat 9 Apr – Saint Luke’s – Glasgow
Mon 11 Apr – O2 Institute – Birmingham
Tues 12 Apr – The Marble Factory – Bristol
Wed 13 Apr – O2 Ritz – Manchester
Fri 15 Apr – O2 Shepherds Bush – London