Artist: Day Wave Album: Headcase Label: Self-Released For fans of: Mac DeMarco, Cloud Nothings, Wavves Standout tracks: Drag, Headcase
Rating: [xrr rating=4.25/5]
Album of the Week was a no-brainer this week. Ever since we first picked up Jackson Phillips’ incarnation Day Wave we fell in love. In stupid adolescent love, the kind of love that leaves you sick at the thought of it. But we have managed to stop scribbling ‘Mrs. Far Out Phillips’ for long enough to tell you why you need his new EP Headcase in your life.
There’s something tangible to Day Wave. Yes, it is loosely lo-fi, it has a hint of pop and even nods to the slacker rock of DeMarco and Wavves but Phillips manages to add so much more sincerity to his songs that they make us feel a little weepy. ‘Nothing At All’, the lead track, is a simplistic pop song about being young, with all your options ahead of you and no responsibilities to think of and just how incredibly dull and scary that can be.
Day Wave continues to succinctly depict all of these complex and irrational feelings with veracity and adds charm and heaps of hooks to make the following 4 tracks as sumptuous as the first. ‘Total Zombie’ handles similar feelings with the same gentle riffing and dabbled synth to enrich a melody to the point of saturation.
‘Drag’ is the stand out song from the EP full of beats from Postal Service and lyrics that everyone can relate to it shines Day Wave as intelligent musician. He combines the lackadaisical nuance of surf rock with viscous substance, think of a melancholy candy floss and you’re half way there.
Following that is ‘We Try But We Don’t Fit In’ which feels particularly Wavves-like sparking themes of doubt and deprecation all within a hazy, happy sound. ‘Headcase’ follows suit and with the Beach Boy harmonies and sunset sound it portray Day Wave as one of the smartest slackers in the country.
Phillips has created an enticing debut EP, one which with all its 35mm imagery and adolescent ambiguity is sure to propel him into the realms of the aforementioned comrades. Headcase is one of the stand out debut of recent memory, it drives us down a coastal road of affliction with the kind of honesty and integrity that demands applause for its ingenuitly and beguiling sentiment.