EP REVIEW: Crush by Day Wave

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WRITTEN BY: Vince Barreras

Oakland, California artist Day Wave released a new EP via PIAS records titled Crush. The new EP is four songs of shoegaze/dreampop that Day Wave is known for. It’s bright, fresh and exhilarating to listen to. Across all four tracks is a seamless flow together in a nice collection that will hold off fans until either the next tour or hopefully a new full-length record in the near future. It’s also important to note that this EP will in fact be available on Record Store Day, which is currently scheduled for June 20. This EP will be out of 1,000 pressed!

It’s hard to simply say Day Wave is an indie band, as the project is much deeper than that. Day Wave is riding the current wave of artists that combine indie rock, shoegaze, dreampop, and different synth and lo-fi elements. It’s truly a sound that’s infectious as well as enjoyable to listen to. The scope of possibilities is endless because Day Wave pulls from so many different genres that it’s hard for creator Jackson Phillips to ever release a single or a collection of songs that sounds like it’s been done before. Phillips is approaching five years as an active project with Day Wave and this collection of songs is perhaps the most versatile and methodically put together yet.

Take the opening track “Starting Again” for example. This is a song that has that familiar Day Wave sound with reverbed out vocals and instrumentation that’s perfect for a sunny day at the beach or a late-night drive through a cold and empty town or city. Some really excellent guitar work is featured on this track that has that mix of classic sounds but always staying fresh. The next track “Potions” features nice swirling melodies, and a catchy back beat. The strength of this track is the hook. Day Wave continues to be one of the bests to write catchy and memorable melodies that will stick with the listener, even after the track is finished. It’s sweet, and above all spacey and dreamy. “Empty” is another catchy pop song combining the elements of genre blending Day Wave has made a staple of their sound. Using bouncing melodies, with a flow that is guaranteed to have people dancing in their apartments is the formula Phillips has been able to capture better than anyone. The EP concludes with “Crush” an absolute gorgeous piano ballad that is both somber, and heartfelt. The vocal delivery by Phillips shows just how versatile the artist is, and this happens to be one of the best songs released by the project to date. 

All in all this is about as perfect as it gets to a 4-song EP. The classic Day Wave formula is on display, collecting four of the best tracks that could be assembled. While keeping a similar formula, something has to be said about the final track. It really shows just how exciting this project is and also if it serves as a glimpse into the future of Day Wave, it should leave fans wanting more because this is just an appetizer for what is to come from the project. 

For Fans of: Hazel English, CASTLEBEAT, Surf Rock Is Dead

Track Listing:

  1. Starting Again
  2. Potions
  3. Empty
  4. Crush

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