When we look back at 2020 it will no doubt be looked upon with mixed emotions. Unfortunately, the world stops for no one. And so, the success stories coming out of this period are likely to be those who managed to push on despite the circumstances. Candid are undoubtedly one such story, continuing to go from strength to strength with latest single ‘Numbers Game’.
The Coventry quartet, formed of brothers Rob (lead vocals and guitar) and Dan (lead guitar) Latimer, alongside Sam Baines (bass) and Alex Bonsor (drums), are no strangers to setbacks. They are serially unlucky, having had showcase gigs cancelled for a plethora of reasons, the latest of these being a hometown show rescheduled on multiple occasions due to COVID-19. During the pandemic period, the band have released two songs to streaming platforms, announced a Christmas show supporting JAWS, and live-streamed a gig with production levels you are more accustomed seeing on Arena tours. It therefore came as no surprise to hear that the 18th of September heralded another release, ‘Numbers Game’.
The song has been a feature of the live setlist for a period of time, but it is almost as though the timing of release perfectly fits the last 6 months. In documenting the struggles of being just a number in the music industry, I instantly drew parallels to the period of lockdown, where it at times felt as though we existed merely as entities in the absence of physical social interaction and routine. Rob has previously spoken of Catfish and the Bottlemen being one of his inspirations musically, and this definitely evokes memories of their early albums. The focus lyrically is the toxicity of today’s music industry.
The song is premised in the notion that bands exist purely as a number, only useful for their ability to generate streams, fill venues, and shift records. However, you might expect that the topic in question would lead to an outpouring of anger in Rob’s songwriting. This is exactly what it is not. They have managed to strike a perfect balance which highlights the falsehoods of the industry, and shows an inner awareness of them, but does not seek to attribute blame. It is almost as though the song serves as the band’s way of showing awareness that the world they find themselves in is far from ideal and that, through music, we can do better.
The song furthers my belief that Rob could pretty much sing in any genre. It’s a conversation I’ve had on a number of occasions, something along the lines of “Rob could sing X, but X couldn’t sing Candid”. The combination of a rapid drum beat and electronic guitar undertone form an opening to the song that instantly flicks your mind to live shows (remember them?) and visions of packed festival tents falling all over the place in the sunshine.
The bridge section is arguably the crowning jewel of the track. It begins with a rhythmic repetition:
“They’re gonna find you, They’re gonna suss you out, Go put a price to, All those years of doubt.“
The initial iteration of these words is quite plain in backing, allowing Rob’s vocals to have some time in the spotlight. This really makes the listener think and consider the song so far. Gradually, the other elements of the band are fed into the subsequent repetitions giving the phrase more and more impact, bearing the hallmarks of an anthemic track. It is also at this point when you realise that the track has been exquisitely mixed, giving perfect weightings to the band’s elements forming one harmonious, homogenous sound that epitomises what Candid stand for.
Candid’s rise over the last 12 months has been something to behold, and they have undoubtedly been able to cash in during the pandemic continuing their growth. My hope now is that they begin to reach a wider audience – it really would be a travesty if more people didn’t become aware of Candid and drive them on towards bigger and better things.
‘Numbers Game’ is out tomorrow, September 18th, via all of your usual platforms and you can presave it now here. For all other Candid updates, including physical sales of the single and gig news, follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.