Introducing… Kawala

Kawala by Sarah Louise Bennett
Kawala by Sarah Louise Bennett

Kawala are Daniel McCarthy (left) and Jim Higson. Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett

We get to know an alt-indie duo from London who skilfully capture their energetic live shows in their studio recordings

Name(s): Daniel McCarthy and Jim Higson

Location: London, UK

Style: Alt-indie

Look out for: New single Kept In The Dark

Listeners are always looking out for fresh and exciting new sounds and the duo of Daniel McCarthy and Jim Higson, aka Kawala, certainly offer that. Their take on the alt-indie genre is refreshing and their latest EP Counting The Miles shines a light on their slick productions and strong lyrical content.

Before the production is added, there’s a less polished stage in the process. “We make sure our songs exist in a completely raw, acoustic-and-two-vocal format. So the two of us get together and write like that and wing it until it sounds not entirely dreadful,” they state.

This way of working means that the songs come to life in the studio session. Kawala say, “We often try and keep things as live as possible. We’ll slap some guides down for all parts and then rebuild each part and explore sounds and rhythms.” And when working on new music, the duo find inspiration from their guitars. “They always open up a new world of progressions to explore. As soon as you find an interesting guitar motif, melodies and harmonies come pretty quickly after that”.

McCarthy and Higson clearly have a genuine love of creating music and it’s one which shines through in both their output and live shows. “There’s honestly no greater sense of achievement than getting a new song finished and it happens really naturally and quickly. We’ll take it to the band to build up and when we try it live, and it goes down well, that’s the magic!”

All of this acoustic and raw songwriting time has created a wonderful EP and one that fans will have on repeat for quite some time.

Interview: Laura Klonowski

Mike Batt at French House Party 2024

Learn more about the duo at

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