Award-rich NZ reggae/roots group KATCHAFIRE return with a chilled-out celebration of music’s unstoppable power in CIRCLE BACK

Review by Vince Leigh

Circle Back is the first single from New Zealand’s Katchafire since their landmark 2018 album Legacy, which hit No. 1 on the US iTunes Reggae Chart and spent several weeks in the Top 5 of USA’s NACC World Charts and the Roots Music Report World Charts.

Legacy was the band’s 5th studio album and resulted in their nomination for Best Roots Artist and Best Maori Artist at the New Zealand Music Awards and Group of The Year at the Island Music Awards in Hawaii. All this helped propel the band to the No. 3 spot on the most-streamed New Zealand artist list on Spotify globally.

Circle Back is an easy-going, chilled-out celebration of the unstoppable power of music and the exhilarating spirit of Katchafire’s unparalleled, universal appeal. Utilising their trademark hybrid of contemporary reggae and roots music the band have added a subtle layer of smooth pop to their sound, resulting in a track that has massive hit written all over it.

Katchafire drummer Jordan Bell is at the helm of Circle Back. Jordan is no stranger to stepping out from behind the kit and up to the mic with Katchafire – his past credits also include Sweet As, One Stop Shop, Down With You, Love Today, Wasted in Love, One More Day, and Walk With Me.

As JB says:

“It’s been a while! The brothers of the ‘Fire can’t wait to get out on the road again and play this new tune Circle Back, and some old favourites of course!”

As the music suggests, the lyric focuses on desire, exposing the dynamics of a relationship that will undoubtedly resonate with many.

The instrumentation is tastefully sparse, lines of clean guitar flow in and out of juxtaposed rhythms and splendid vocal harmony work. Katchafire has returned in supreme style with Circle Back, their first new track since the pandemic stopped their international touring plans. It’s a song that encapsulates summer lovin’ and good vibes with the core message; love always wins. 

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