Love at first Play! Day Wave came up in my Soundcloud newsfeed as being connected to one of my recent favourite artists, Hazel English. Apparently, fellow Oaklander Jackson Philips aka Day Wave, is her producer which is instantly clear because they have a very similar sound, as is the case with bands like Craft Spells, Hot Flash Heat Wave and The Arctic Flow: it is a dreamy, filmscore-like sound that makes me want to have it in my headphones all day long because it just makes me look through a different lens at a prettier world that is more in accordance to what is in my head already! A “quintessential-but-up-to-date” dreampop sound with dabs of hipster and electropop.
Day Wave is a one-man project (apart from live shows) of Oakland dreampop artist Jackson Phillips, who handles every aspect of his recording process from mixing to mastering, and recording directly. Apparently, Phillips who has been drumming since he was 9, only learned how to play the guitar in the last few years, which is amazing considering the sound.
The latest EP – “Hard to Read” – was released on March 4th via label Grand Jury. Before “Hard to Read” there was the debut EP Headcase, that was followed by the excellent “Come Home Now” b/w “You Are Who You Are” 7-inch. A physical release combining both “Headcase“ and “Hard to Read“ is available from the Grand Jury :http://shop.grandjurymusic.com/products/day-wave
Opener “Deadbeat Girl“, is a bittersweet road-movie set in a sultry after-summerscape. After a few plays you’re singing along : “ok” ! and when you’re trying to be ok, you just fall apart”
“Gone” is just the most gorgeous track I have heard in ages. Honestly, it gets better each time I listen. It has that liquid-silver jangle flow that made me fall in love with The Sundays in the 90’s. It is that feeling you get when you are by yourself, reflecting on everything, being able to long for something or someone… ”and I feel this way alone / you’re gone”…..
“Hard to Read” is a slightly more uptempo track. The typical indie guitar riff of the intro hints at Stereolab’s “Superelectric” but the chorus then dives into unpredictable under-water nooks and crannies, just like the mysterious subject of the lyrics “ tell me what you want, cause I don’t know / darling it’s hard to read you”.
‘’Stuck”, again, conveys a feeling I can much relate to …(“I’ll be honest, I’m running away cause you’re stuck in my head/ you’re always somewhere” ) Its gentle strumming, subtle subdued synthesisers and angelic haunting backingvocals make it yet another score to our daydreams ( however torn in nature).
Short and closing track “You“ (“cause I don’t know how I feel about You”) is solemn, languid and twangy. It waxes, sways to and fro and slowly spirals on, backed by hushed cooing, a brooding bass and chiming synths that wane in the end like a passing siren…..