KAWALA release new single ‘Searching’, the song is a pure, emotive rallying call ahead of the group’s UK and Ireland headline tour which takes place in November and December.
This run of shows boasts an already sold-out date at O2 Kentish Town Forum, the influential venue that sits at the heart of the North London neighbourhood where the five-piece grew up.
Taken from the band’s soon to be announced debut album, ‘Searching’ is an urgent swirl of bright guitars and driving drums, and it showcases the band’s uniquely evocative vocal harmonies that stunningly whip between gentle breezes and emotional storms. There really is no one right now who can do it like they do.
Heart-swelling and anthemic, though the result of some intimately painted personal experiences, KAWALA’s new single flickers between memories and future hopes, dreamy atmospheres, and the urgency of the here and now. Though not written with the last couple of years directly in mind, it nevertheless chimes with a world that while still partially cocooned is already looking optimistically towards the horizon.
Produced by Dan Bryer (Rag n’ Bone Man, Tom Grennan) and mixed by Dan Boyler (George Ezra, The Snuts), while ‘Searching’ is a song that will resonate with its times, its sense of hope and yearning has a timeless power to move audiences whatever the circumstances.
“With two of us singing, we’ve never felt entirely comfortable writing about relationships & dating as it always seemed a little odd harmonising about each others’ love lives” the boys explain about the song. “It just happened that when we wrote ‘Searching’, we both found ourselves fresh out of long-term relationships & suddenly back in the surreal (& stressful) world of dating. We wanted to represent the relentlessly repetitive nature of going on your thousandth date &, once again, having to meet someone for the first time.”
“We took a very conceptual approach to the music video. By performing the song through dawn, dusk and night we wanted to represent the endless, repetitive and tiring nature of dating, the bottles representing every conversation, evening shared and person forgotten along the way. It was our first experience of filming a properly cinematic music vid, & for us, nothing felt more rock & roll than driving up to Blackpool beach on the windiest day of the year and rewarded with an incredible sunset thunderstorm.”
While KAWALA have never been shy about acknowledging their influences, this is band with their own vision and their own way of meshing music together – from the songwriting to the studio – ‘Searching’ is a powerful example of a group treading its own path.
And, achieving a lot in a short space of time is the one trait KAWALA are happy to repeat time and again.
Not only has the band already released an impressive series of singles and EPs that have led to over 82 million streams, but pre-pandemic their relentless desire to tour not only sharpened KAWALA’s musical skills, but saw them develop a burgeoning community between them and their live following. Mixing their own shows with support slots for the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club (their first show back after lockdown), the five-piece’s ethos has not been just to play to people but to build a community, a concept that found a fuller expression in their 2021 mixtape ‘Paradise Heights’. Reaching out musically, the mixtape offers a communal spirit and individual observations that chimed with fans, while ‘Paradise Heights’ also inspired KAWALA to film their own sitcom.
Available on the band’s YouTube channel, while the group clearly take their music seriously, the five-part and counting show demonstrates KAWALA’s ability to laugh at band life, while also apparently revealing a slightly obsessive love of SM:TV’s show within a show, Chums – well, what else are you going to do if you’re itching to perform but can’t play gigs?
“Everything we’ve ever done has always revolved around a community of our friends,” notes singer Jim Higson of KAWALA’s creative attempts to reach out.
That community is set to expand yet again, as KAWALA play their biggest ever headline tour in November and December this year. The dates will not only allow them to further their connections right across the UK and Ireland, but with a series of sold out shows in iconic venues like King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, Bristol’s Thekla and, of course, their hometown show at O2 Kentish Town Forum, the tour also illuminates the strength of feeling fans have for KAWALA despite no gigs for 18 months. Though this is no victory lap. These shows, along with the release of ‘Searching’, mark a new opportunity for KAWALA to move forward, both in terms of their music and the connection they have with audiences.
“We definitely have that mentality that we’ve never done enough,” declares Jim of the inspiring spirit that drives them. In fact, KAWALA has definitely achieved more than most bands at a similar stage in their development, but to be ahead now just hints at the special places this band could end up going.
‘Searching’ is both a statement of how far KAWALA have come musically, yet it is also an artistic jumping off point heralding the band’s next phase. For now though, you’ll find them at the locations below from late November onwards…
2021 tour dates
Sun 21 Nov – Cyprus Ave – Cork
Mon 22 Nov – The Academy – Dublin
Weds 24 Nov – St Dom’s Social Club – Newcastle
Thurs 25 Nov – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut – Glasgow (SOLD OUT)
Fri 3 Dec – Club Academy – Manchester (SOLD OUT)
Sun 5 Dec – The Bullingdon – Oxford (SOLD OUT)
Mon 6 Dec – The Globe – Cardiff
Tue 7 Dec – Thekla – Bristol (SOLD OUT)
Weds 8 Dec – O2 Institute 2 – Birmingham (SOLD OUT)
Thurs 9 Dec – Arts Club – Liverpool
Mon 13 Dec – O2 Kentish Town Forum – London (SOLD OUT)