THE CYRKLE (Columbus, OH)
Big Stir Records is thrilled to welcome to our roster... THE CYRKLE. Genuine Sixties hitmakers and purveyors of the classic sunshine pop and folk rock sounds, now anchored by classic-era members singer-guitarist DON DANNEMANN and vocalist-keyboardist MIKE LOSEKAMP, THE CYRKLE is back and in action with new material in their beloved groovy style. More than a throwback, the band's new work heralds a whole new dawn for THE CYRKLE: the morning sun is shining indeed, and we at Big Stir dig it. We're sure you will, too.
The story of THE CYRKLE is remarkable even by the standards of the halcyon era in which they enjoyed worldwide success. The band are renowned for both their own '60s chart success (two Top 20 singles in the #2 hit “Red Rubber Ball” and the era-defining “Turn Down Day”) and their close associations with the top tier of British Invasion prime movers. They opened for The Beatles, were the only American act managed by Brian Epstein, and had the unique spelling of their name provided by none other than John Lennon. Their breakthrough hit was written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley (of The Seekers) and they'd go on to pass on recording another Simon composition that would become a hit for Harpers Bizarre. And while their original career spanned a scant few years in the Swinging Sixties, both the hits and their albums – 1966's RED RUBBER BALL featuring both chart singles, and the underappreciated 1967 followup NEON – left an indelible mark. Their music earned them a place among the era's intercontinental pioneers of folk rock and what would come to be known as Sunshine Pop – think The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas and The Turtles – and the Baroque Rock sounds of The Zombies and The Hollies that would go on to influence indie rockers from Belle & Sebastian to The Flaming Lips, The High Llamas and many more.
Although THE CYRKLE went silent following the 1970 film soundtrack The Minx, founding members Dannemann and Tom Dawes both continued to demonstrate their talents for unforgettable earworms in their behind-the-scenes work as jingle writers (penning “The UnCola Song” and Alka-Seltzer's “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz” respectively). The reconvening of the band in the 21st Century came about in an appropriately circular manner, when keyboardist Losekamp – whose lead vocal on the track “The Visit (She Was Here)” from NEON has long been a fan favorite worthy of a reprise – joined the Columbus, Ohio based band The Gas Pump Jockeys, a regionally popular classic rock act who then added “Red Rubber Ball” and “Turn Down Day” to their sets. Buoyed by the strong audience reaction, the band's Pat McLoughlin (vocals, guitar) set about locating the original Cyrkle lineup. Tom Dawes had sadly passed away in 2007, but Don Dannemann -- who had been discussing a reunion with Dawes just before the latter's passing -- was keenly interested in the new project, and soon THE CYRKLE was unbroken. Since 2017, the group, currently embodied by Dannemann, Losekamp and McLoughlin along with Dean Kastran of The Ohio Express (vocals, bass), Don White (lead guitar, vocals) and Scott Langley (drums, vocals), has toured extensively, often alongside other acts from the '60s charts.
It's a touching reunion story and one that's already delighted thousands of fans, but we wouldn't be here if the band were content to play the hits on the nostalgia circuit. Honed onstage into a superb six-piece outfit capable of reproducing the complex arrangements and harmonies of the '60s-era material with ease, the 21st Century iteration of THE CYRKLE has found themselves inspired to pick up where they left off, with new material in the vein of their legacy tunes. And thus we're here to talk about a new album from THE CYRKLE, over 50 years after their last studio effort but with their signature sound fully intact. Big Stir Records kicked off the countdown to the full-length album in 2023, with the the band's first new globally-released single since 1968: the new Dannemann composition “We Thought We Could Fly” not only lovingly recounted the story of the band, but connected wit indie radio programmers worldwide. It was followed this year by another single, the live-set crowd pleaser “Dance With Me Tonight”. The stage is well and truly set for THE CYRKLE's first album of new material in over fifty years: REVIVAL, due March 22 on CD and all digital platforms worldwide.
It's an intoxicating mixture of newly rekindled musical ambition and beautifully-delivered remembrance that's symbolic of what these vintage heroes have to offer the music lovers of today -- those newly discovering the band and those who remember alike. For a brief moment in the transmographic whirlwind that was the Swinging Sixties, the world revolved around THE CYRKLE. With the impending arrival of a new record, the band returns to their rightful place in the stratosphere. THE CYRKLE has truly, and thankfully, come around again.
Big Stir Records proudly brings you the first album from '60s hitmakers and Sunshine Pop legends THE CYRKLE in over 50 years: REVIVAL. The album features 13 new tracks in the band's classic style from the 21st Century lineup of the band, anchored by original members DON DANNEMANN and MIKE LOSEKAMP. It includes their recent indie radio hits “We
Big Stir Records proudly brings you the first album from '60s hitmakers and Sunshine Pop legends THE CYRKLE in over 50 years: REVIVAL. The album features 13 new tracks in the band's classic style from the 21st Century lineup of the band, anchored by original members DON DANNEMANN and MIKE LOSEKAMP. It includes their recent indie radio hits “We Thought We Could Fly” and “Dance With Me Tonight” as well as new versions of their '60s hits “Red Rubber Ball” and “Turn-Down Day” as bonus tracks.
THE CYRKLE's return to the airwaves was one of last year's most welcome surprises. The legend of the band's meteoric mid-'60s rise is a heady one even by the halcyon standards of the era: they shared stages (and manager Brian Epstein) with The Beatles – whose John Lennon coined the spelling of their name – and scored two major hits in the Paul Simon/Bruce Woodley-written “Red Rubber Ball” and the culture-defining “Turn-Down Day”. They vanished nearly as quickly, leaving behind those undeniably definitive classics of the Sunshine Pop sound and just two proper albums. Aside from a handful of appearances and the prospect of a reunion cut short by the untimely 2007 passing of co-founder TOM DAWES, they were not to be heard from again until 2017, when DANNEMANN (vocals and guitar) and LOSEKAMP (vocals and keyboards) joined forces with some of Ohio's top performing musicians – including OHIO EXPRESS bassist Dean Kastran as well as Pat McLoughlin (vocals, guitar), Don White (lead guitar, vocals) and Scott Langley (drums, vocals) -- to recreate the original Cyrkle sound onstage, and bring their creative vision into the new century in the studio.
What sets the new version of THE CYRKLE apart from the other veteran '60s acts on the retro rock circuit is their focus on new material, all delivered with the classic band's signature harmonies and melodic charm. Indie radio has already rallied around last year's hit single “We Thought We Could Fly” – Dannemann's touching tribute to his late musical partner Dawes, whose harmonies were added to the track via vocals from the vault – and the crowd-pleasing “Dance With Me Tonight”, a fresh staple of the band's exuberant live sets. And REVIVAL offers much more, intended as the true third proper Cyrkle album that might have appeared in 1968.
Sonically, it's just that: the inimitable harmonies soar as the band moves effortlessly from the sweet roots rock of “Goin' Steady With You” (a Dannemann tune dating back to 1959, finally given the Cyrkle treatment) to the sophisticated chamber pop of the Losekamp originals “We Can Find It” and “Singing For Today”, which connect the band's distinctive approach to the later sounds of the Laurel Canyon scene and '70s AM Gold. Losekamp also reprises his much-loved fan favorite “The Visit” from The Cyrkle's underappreciated second album NEON.
Indeed, much on REVIVAL gleefully calls back to the music of The Cyrkle's heyday. There's the forthcoming single “We Were There” on which Dannemann breathlessly recounts the unbelievable journey of the band's original career over a musical setting that's of a piece with their work from the time (and evocative of contemporaries from The Beach Boys to The Hollies). There's the glorious psychedelia of “He Can Fly”, a recreation of an Andrew Sandoval tune originally produced by, and again featuring the vintage vocals of, Tom Dawes. The record also sees the return of renowned producer Charlie Calello, who oversaw the band's '60s sessions and now takes the helm on “Dance With Me Tonight.” And there's even a lovely if belated version of Simon & Garfunkel's “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)”, a song the band could have recorded in 1967 when Simon offered it to them (and which they regretted declining when Harpers Bizarre picked it up and ran with it to the charts).
But there's more, much of it acknowledging the passing of time. Dannemann's “Center Of The World” may sound like a swirling '60's throwback, but listen closely and you'll hear him tell the sweet tale of meeting his wife online at the dawn of the internet era. Likewise, the rootsy “It's Alright It's Okay”, with its round-robin solo turns for all of the band's formidable singers, addresses the prospect of growing old with irresistibly youthful glee. There's also room for tales of romance, both heartbreaking (“Nobody But A Fool”) and humorous (“I Believe She Believes”). And while the bonus tracks present recreations of their indelible hits from the charts of half a century past, these are the 21st Century renditions that have been bringing audiences together across generational lines as part of The Cyrkle's touring show.
As befits a band born of the optimism of the '60s, THE CYRKLE has delivered a new album that's both warmly nostalgic and forward-looking. REVIVAL is imbued with a sense of well-earned joy, playfulness, musicality, and that rarest of commodities in the modern world: hope. Fans of melodic and uplifting rock in all its forms across the decades can rejoice that THE CYRKLE has come back around again. It's gonna be alright, the morning sun is shining, and we at Big Stir Records dig it. We feel sure you will, too.
Expected release: March 22, 2024
Dance With Me Tonight
Sixties sunshine pop hitmakers THE CYRKLE return with a new single that offers something old and something very, very new for fans eagerly anticipating the band's first original album in over half a century, coming this spring from BIG STIR RECORDS. The “new” is the A-Side “Dance With Me Tonight” (the followup to their 2023 comeback hit “We
Sixties sunshine pop hitmakers THE CYRKLE return with a new single that offers something old and something very, very new for fans eagerly anticipating the band's first original album in over half a century, coming this spring from BIG STIR RECORDS. The “new” is the A-Side “Dance With Me Tonight” (the followup to their 2023 comeback hit “We Thought We Could Fly”), and it's paired with a re-recorded, 21st Century Version of the band's unforgettably groovy 1966 hit “Turn-Down Day” to remind today's guitar pop audience why the revival of The Cyrkle is truly cause for celebration. The double-sided single is out on all digital platforms February 9, and it's up for pre-order/pre-save now:
The surprise return of THE CYRKLE to the airwaves and their debut in the digital age, anchored by original members DON DANNEMANN (vocals, guitar) and MIKE LOSEKAMP (vocals, keyboards), has done much to remind the global pop rock scene of their legacy. Indeed, “We Thought We Could Fly” told the tale of the band's meteoric rise – overseen by Beatles manager Brian Epstein and including a stint opening for the Fab Four in the US -- in Dannemann's own words, and it was paired with a new version of the band's biggest '60s hit, the Paul Simon cowrite “Red Rubber Ball”. Meanwhile, a whole new audience has been discovering the band in its live incarnation, rounded out by Pat McLoughlin (vocals, guitar), Dean Kastran of The Ohio Express (vocals, bass), Don White (lead guitar, vocals) and Scott Langley (drums, vocals), since their 2017 reunion. What sets THE CYRKLE apart from the other vintage acts with whom they share stages is exactly what fuels their recording resurgence: they are creating new music that stands with their best, and the audiences at their shows have been embracing the fresh tunes every bit as enthusiastically as the sixties classics.
The new single “Dance With Me Tonight” is a prime example. Its playful energy and irresistible melody have made it a fan favorite in the band's live sets. The band's Pat McLoughlin reveals the secret to the song's appeal: “Within The Cyrkle, we often discuss an element of 'magic'. When it appears, it often makes the difference between a song that is considered good or even great, and song that becomes a staple in the listener’s music community. We all believe that 'Dance With Me Tonight' is drenched in magic. The song’s retro feel, combined with modern day techniques, produce a song that could easily appeal to many generations.”
The recording of the track was the occasion for yet another auspicious reunion. Renowned music arranger Charlie Calello (The Four Seasons, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond) was a producer for The Cyrkle’s first albums on Columbia Records in 1966, and he has returned to arrange “Dance With Me Tonight.” And naturally, the band's sparkling new rendition of “Turn-Down Day” (the virtual B-Side here) hearkens back to the band's roots as well: it's a breezy cornerstone classic of the sunshine pop sound whose influence can be felt in the indie and chamber-pop music of today. The modern lineup of the band delivers it with all the youthful optimism it embodied when it hit the charts at the beginning of the psychedelic era, and with that sound being discovered by a whole new generation, the time for THE CYRKLE has most definitely come back around again. Big Stir Records is proud to bring it to you, on this new single and on the album yet to come. We guarantee you'll dig it.
For more on THE CYRKLE, visit: https://www.bigstirrecords.com/the-cyrkle
We Thought We Could Fly
Sunshine pop pioneers and genuine '60s hitmakers THE CYRKLE (“Red Rubber Ball,” “Turn Down Day”) make one of the year's most surprising and delightful returns with the new single “We Thought We Could Fly,” out September 15 and up for pre-order/pre-save at https://orcd.co/cyrkle-wtwcf from Big Stir Records now. It's the first single in over 50
Sunshine pop pioneers and genuine '60s hitmakers THE CYRKLE (“Red Rubber Ball,” “Turn Down Day”) make one of the year's most surprising and delightful returns with the new single “We Thought We Could Fly,” out September 15 and up for pre-order/pre-save at https://orcd.co/cyrkle-wtwcf from Big Stir Records now. It's the first single in over 50 years for the band led by founding singer-guitarist DON DANNEMMANN and classic-lineup keyboardist MIKE LOSEKAMP, and it's bundled with a new 21st-Century Version of the band's biggest hit “Red Rubber Ball” as a virtual B-side. But it's the lead track, a story-song with the classic CYRKLE sound telling the tale of the band itself and a musical friendship for the ages, that will grab listeners and leave them wanting more.
And what a tale “We Thought We Could Fly” has to tell. Opening with a burst of the band's unmistakable signature harmonies and evoking the breezy instrumental sounds of the band's heyday – think The Hollies, The Beach Boys, The Zombies and of course The Cyrkle themselves – it's all there. From the formation of the band as the frat rock combo The Rhondells to the heights of chart success under a new name (coined by no less than John Lennon) and opening for The Beatles, with whom they shared a manager in Brian Epstein. But it's also a touching and bittersweet portrait of Dannemann's friendship and enduring musical connection with his Cyrkle co-founder, the late Tom Dawes, from their first meeting to their last conversation just before Dawes' passing in 2007.
On both “We Thought We Could Fly” and the recreation of “Red Rubber Ball,” the current lineup of THE CYRKLE, rounded out by Pat McLoughlin (vocals, guitar), Dean Kastran of The Ohio Express (vocals, bass), Don White (lead guitar, vocals) and Scott Langley (drums, vocals), proves sublimely adept at recreating the magic of the band's signature sound. That should come as no surprise, since they've been keeping the music alive on the legacy circuit since 2017. What makes “We Thought We Could Fly” even more special is the presence of the late Tom Dawes on backing harmonies, thanks to the recovery of a set of backing vocals incorporated into the new song – a story that will be told in more detail in a “Making Of” video to be debuted on the Big Stir Records YouTube Channel in the days before the single's release.
The flip-side's faithful recreation of the band's biggest hit, the Paul Simon/Bruce Woodley-penned “Red Rubber Ball” that hit #2 on the Billboard Charts in 1966, is another loving look back. The song is simply timeless, as evidenced by it recent resurgence on TikTok. More importantly, the fresh sheen on the new version points the way forward for the band as they reach beyond their solid legacy and prepare an all-new album of originals to be released in early 2024. With the sunshine pop sound being discovered by a whole new generation, the time for THE CYRKLE has come back around again. Big Stir Records will be proud to bring it to you.