So, Kawala, yeah? Let’s do it. Here are the bare facts - straight from the cheval’s mush - they’re all mates from North London. Jim and Dan’s orbits collided in their teens and they started writing songs and singing harmonies together. This eventually led to them putting together a band with a 2nd Dan on electric guitar, Reeve on bass and Ben on drums. They dropped two EPs on Mahogany Records, which made it onto all the top playlists, garnering over 18 million streams on Spotify. Their music draws on influences Such as John Martyn Bombay Bicycle Club, The Staves, Bon Iver and Half Moon Run and is all based around a driving acoustic guitar and Jim and Dan’s close harmonies - somebody once called them the Simon and Garfunkel of the Urban Outfitter generation. ‘Play It Right’ is the first release on their new label, Virgin EMI.
Those are the facts - but the facts aren’t important. What’s important is the feeling and the flow, the unbearable poetry of staring too long at the sun. This is the sound of the summer, the jingling, juggling, cascading elemental flicker in a deep blue sky that turns anxiety into hope. Kawala speak the language of broken hearts and butterflies and bats and moonbeams, the touch of cold aluminium and the feel of popcorn trodden into the carpet under your feet. It’s the sound of the global machine born from the energy in bent spoons and crop circles, as the face in the mirror turns to liquid emotion and… I’m sorry I can’t keep this up any longer. I can’t write any more of this bollocks. I’ve had enough. I’ve been working in the music industry too long… Too, too long, and I cannot write another bloody biography about another bloody band. I can’t believe I actually used the word ‘garnering’ earlier. Whoever says ‘garnering’? I’ll be telling you next who ‘helmed’ the recording session. What does any of it mean? In the end it’s just music. If you want to listen to it, it’s all there, on Spotify, or wherever. I mean, who reads this stuff, anyway? It doesn’t matter what I put in this biog. Nobody will have made it this far. I could tell you Jim is twelve foot tall and Dan is three foot tall. I could tell you the band are from Mars and play instruments made from fruit. I could tell you my relationship has just fallen apart and I know what it’s like to wake up just before the dawn with that heavy feeling of not wanting the day to start. And all I can do to lift the gloom is put ‘Play It Right’ on heavy rotation, and I just can’t get the bloody song out of my head… That’s the thing, that’s all you need to say, if you can’t write a banging tune, forget it. And all those bands I’ve churned out the biogs for, they’ve broken me. Knowing all the time that the tunes weren’t there, that the songs just weren’t strong enough, so I had to dress it up. I had to pour on the bullshit. And the thing is, this lot, this Kawala, at first all I thought was “they can’t even spell their fucking name right”, but I listened to the music and, you know what, they’re all right. They’re charismatic, they’re entertaining, they write songs that get inside your skull and people love them. Dammit I love them. Phew, rock & roll still works. It isn’t broken. I can carry on. Yes, world, I'm not giving up! The sun will rise and I will rise with it. Dear God almighty, I am reborn.