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 will begin the countdown to the full-length album this summer, with the the band's first new globally-released single since 1968, and it's something special indeed: the new Dannemann composition “We Thought We Could Fly” not only lovingly recounts the story of the band, but miraculously features beautiful harmonies from the late Tom Dawes, culled from multitrack sessions provided by rock historian and '60s compilation curator Andrew Sandoval. As a bonus, each of the singles paving the way for the album will be paired with virtual B-sides featuring the current lineup performing the hit singles from the band's heyday as well as the one that notoriously got away: Simon's “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)”.
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.