It’s been a long journey for Camden-based band Kawala. Originally a folk duo consisting of singer Jim Higson and guitarist Daniel McCarthy, who formed the band while studying together at university in the early 2010s, the band has since expanded to a quintet, released three EP’s, a handful of singles, and a breakout streaming hit in 2018 with ‘Do It Like You Do.’
All that hard work would surely amount to something, right? Well, the struggle continues, with that exertion creating the basis for the group’s new single ‘Chasing/Wasting Time.’
“‘Chasing/Wasting Time’ is our way of describing just how difficult it is to make it in the music game,” the band explain. “In the song, we wanted to use the loose visual of a physical race as a metaphor for how competitive it can be, to be the one to make it. It’s kind of our own reflective tale of self-doubt & progression.”
You can hear the frustration in lines like, “You’ll never quite be enough/When all you need is luck/You’ve only ever had an ordinary chance.” Anyone who’s ever played to an empty bar, or written an article that no one care’s about, surely knows the feeling.
But Kawala know one of the tenets of Pop Music 101: depressing lyrics should be paired with upbeat music. It doesn’t get much bouncier than ‘Chasing/Wasting Time’, so much so that it’s easy to get lost in the bright acoustic guitars and light-as-air keyboard lines without paying attention to the words at all.
Good thing there’s a new video that lays out the themes of the lyrics. The video, with just a tinge of Adult Swim-esque humor, features a less-than honest swindler who sells the impoverished band members on a new luxury apartment that turns out to be a dump. Through their own ingenuity and resources, the band manages to furnish and decorate their new space to make a home, even if the huckster still gets all the money. You don’t have to dig too deeply to see what the band is getting at, but the song and the video are both undemanding jaunts that belie a more serious attitude.
Check out the video for ‘Chasing/Wasting Time’ down, below.