Circa Survive are one of the most prolific groups to break out from the underground scene in the last 20 years. Formed in 2004, following vocalist Anthony Green's departure from the seminal screamo outfit Saosin, Circa Survive released seven albums during their time together. And if that wasn't enough, the band also left behind EPs, one-off singles, and a treasure trove of rarities and B-sides that have since gained a cult-like following. 

Read more: Every Circa Survive album ranked: From worst to best

For casual listeners who may only be familiar with popular tracks such as "Act Appalled," "Get Out," or "The Difference Between Medicine And Poison Is In The Dose," it may seem like a daunting task to dive into their entire discography. However, it’s crucial that the lesser-known songs get the recognition and attention they deserve, as some of Circa Survive’s best material was overshadowed by their own tremendous success. Whether these songs were overlooked or simply waiting to be discovered posthumously following the band's hiatus in late 2022, now has never been a better time to dig deep and unearth the hidden gems of Circa Survive's unique and groundbreaking catalog. 

"Bad Heart" 

In 2014, Circa Survive teamed up with one of their biggest musical influences, Sunny Day Real Estate, for a limited-edition split seven-inch release for Record Store Day. The seven-inch featured a stripped-down Circa Survive rarity titled "Bad Heart" and Sunny Day Real Estate’s triumphant reunion single "Lipton Witch," their first new music since 2000. On "Bad Heart," Circa Survive channeled the mellow surf rock of the Beach Boys, with four-part harmonies and twangy vibrato guitars galore. The addition of a soothing ambient rain effect also sets the tone for a somber, reflective track that tackles themes of heartbreak, forgiveness and mending relationships. 

"Even Better" 

Circa Survive's 2022 swan song release, Two Dreams, was some of the band's best work. And while it was leaps and bounds more experimental than their classic post-hardcore sound, adding mellow and synth-driven elements suited the band well. "Even Better" is a stunning example of this. The track feels like classic Frou Frou with the whimsical production style of Icelandic experimental pop icon Björk, featuring Green at his most bare. Between weaving soft falsetto melodies and raw voice cracks, Green paints a picture of wanting to break a vicious cycle of self-sabotage and be there for the ones he loves the most. 

"Sleep Well" 

Some of Circa Survive's most underrated tracks come from their final album, Two Dreams, and "Sleep Well" is worthy of praise. The song features everything from drum and bass-inspired break beats, rolling basslines, Wurlitzer pianos, and even glockenspiel flourishes that will evoke memories of Radiohead's beloved Kid A era. While the track is a somewhat leftfield offering from the band, it doesn't suffer in the least bit, even with the lack of heavy guitars or epic dynamics. With "Sleep Well," Green touches on personal loss, mortality, suicide, and the fear of getting too close to others. Once again, his vocals are angelic beyond words, and with every high note he hits, the goosebumps keep coming. 


It’s easy to focus on Green's otherworldly vocals when talking about Circa Survive. However, on tracks such as "Stay," from the band's sixth album, The Amulet, praise should also be given to the other band members, including guitar virtuosos Colin Frangicetto and Brendan Ekstrom. "Stay" is a prime example of Circa Survive's unique songwriting approach. Instead of relying on tried-and-true bar chords, they utilize their two guitarists to add complex and intricate textures. As soon as the track kicks off with the lead guitar riff, it’s instantly clear that Circa Survive are the kind of band that consistently outdo themselves. 

"House of Leaves" 

In case you missed it, there is a secret track on Circa Survive's debut album Juturna titled "House of Leaves." Kicking off at around the 8:45 mark following the closing track "Meet Me in Montauk," "House of Leaves" is a glorious fever dream of jazz guitars and hypnotic vocals that feel like an impromptu jam session. The song's title is plucked from the experimental horror novel of the same name by American author Mark Z. Danielewski, which documents a fictitious house with supernatural qualities and portals to alternate realities. In the book, multiple narrators engage each other to create a shocking and juxtaposing effect — and in many ways, Circa Survive's hallucinatory track does a very similar thing in sonics. 

"Stare Like You'll Stay"

Following the release of their 2010 major-label album, Blue Sky Noise, Circa Survive wasted no time giving people more new music with Appendage, a five-track EP containing B-sides from the BSN sessions. The second track, "Stare Like You'll Stay," is so criminally underrated it hurts, with a soaring chorus that offers an unexpected yet intriguing shift into a major key that provides a more uplifting sound for the band. It’s a song they should have included on Blue Sky Noise, as it would’ve satiated die-hard fans of their classic style while also introducing them to their more accessible tendencies. 

"The Most Dangerous Commercials"

Opening with a shrieking panic chord in the vein of Norma Jean or Botch, Circa Survive's lost B-side "The Most Dangerous Commercials" is chaotic in all the best ways. The song is the sonic equivalent of doom-scrolling, with moments of heaviness thrown at you from every direction and lyrics that paint a picture of being constantly bombarded with tragedy and loss. Green's unconventional approach to weaving words together provides an unsettling yet compelling way of telling a story. "The Most Dangerous Commercials" is a prime example of the importance of ambiguous lyrics as they force you to look deeper into the song. In the process, you can find multiple meanings and interpretations. 

"Dark Pools"

"Dark Pools" was an additional single released as part of the deluxe reissue of Circa Survive's 2018 full-length, The Amulet. The track gives serious throwback vibes to the band's classic post-hardcore sound, first developed on their debut album Juturna. "Dark Pools" is based on cinematic guitar lines that feel like something straight off a Godspeed You! Black Emperor record and desolate sounds add a dark tone to the song. The lyrics are vague, but the best interpretation is about remaining authentic no matter what and not letting others drag you to the dark side or change the beautiful imperfections that ultimately make you who you are. 


Though it's not even a minute-and-a-half long, Circa Survive's Juturna-era B-side "Julian" is a pleasant and captivating exercise in artistic minimalism. The track is almost like a lullaby, with only an acoustic guitar and Green's soothing vocals to sing you to sleep. Its main melody is eerily familiar, as if the track has been with you since early childhood, and also has a certain comforting quality that wraps you up like a warm blanket on a cold winter night. Not to mention, the chorus is infectiously catchy. 

"Oh, Hello" 

"Oh, Hello," from Circa Survive's debut album, Juturna, is the most rock track on the album by a long mile. This song alone should have earned the band opening slots with arena-rock acts such as Audioslave and Jane's Addiction back in the day due to the larger-than-life vocal performances that would make both Chris Cornell and Perry Farrell proud and the heavy-handed guitar licks that give legends such as Tom Morello a run for their money. Perhaps the juiciest bit of backstory behind the track is the rumor that it was written about Cove Reber, the former vocalist of Saosin who replaced Green after his first departure from the band back in 2004 and the song dissects the past, moving forward, and the uncanny similarities between the two frontmen's singing voices.