KOALA on creating the expansive sound behind their latest single Ceramic

January is a month of reinvention, and Stoke-on-Trent trio KOALA have shed their former skin of snappy rhythms to unveil their eerie, Pink Floyd-esque record Ceramic. 

The band’s latest release is a departure from their usual catchy choruses for something a little more sprawling and atmospheric, ditching conventional structures for something more experimental.

The guitar-driven track introduces itself with haunting melodies, setting a mysterious tone that weaves in and out of the record, Hillman’s vocals navigating the intricate instrumentation with ease. Brooding lyrics penned on a sunbed in Lindos bring a vibrancy to the record, with Chris adding: “Although inspired by the island’s beauty and the oceans obscure misunderstanding, the words paint a picture of introspection and transformation.” 

The backbone of Ceramic is a ten-year-old bass riff, artfully crafted by bassist Cy Walker, which Chris said ‘found its perfect home in the outro’. The Rick-o-sound bass adds a layer of texture that draws parallels to Tame Impala’s psychedelic prowess, blended with Kasabian’s experimental spirit and Sergio-style vocals.

“The original drum beat was very loosely written on Ableton,” Chris added, “but then John took it and injected his own fire, unleashing fills and grooves that took the entire song to another level.”

Verses are punctuated by grooving interludes, not a chorus in sight. “We’ve practised at a ceramics studio for years, so it kind of solved the issue of naming a song with no chorus for us,” said bassist Cy Walker. It simultaneously serves as a subtle nod to the band’s Stoke-on-Trent roots, and really gives it a sense of place in the same way Oasis feels inherently Mancunian, or how Steel City was built into early Arctic Monkeys’ DNA.

Blending atmospheric instrumentation and dynamic rhythms, the track concludes with a mesmerising outro completing Ceramic’s expansive and episodic soundscape. Hot on the heels of their fuzz-fuelled debut EP Wasting Time, Ceramic is a haunting, immersive journey that stands as a testament to KOALA’s commitment to pushing sonic boundaries with every release.

Released January 26, listen to Ceramic by KOALA here:

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