Nathan Williams has had a busy year, putting out a split disc with noise-pop compatriots Cloud Nothings, an album from a side project with his brother and others called Spirit Club and a split EP with MNDR with another side project, Sweet Valley. But now we’ll finally get a new Wavves album as well. V is due Oct. 2 on Ghost Ramp/Warner Bros., and he’s unveiled the frantically poppy “Flamezesz” as well as the previously revealed, Elvis Costello-esque “Way Too Much.”V is now up for preorder on LP and CD. Hear it below via Complex.
Wavves’ latest album album mostly ditches the “King of the Beach” surf-punk notions of previous releases for a big, warm, alt-rock embrace that does wonders to highlight the quality of Nathan Williams’ songwriting. “Sail to the Sun” starts out with sparkling synths and moves into a thumping, surging rocker. “Demon to Lean On” is built for rock radio, with a catchy, two-note riff leading into its soaring chorus. It’s reminiscent of mid-’90s radio gems from the likes of Weezer and their brethren, but it’s also smartly built, with watery guitars and castanets seeping beneath the surface of its Pixies-inspired, quiet-to-loud dynamics and Nathan Williams’ paranoid lyrics. After starting out boldly, the album takes dark turns that should please fans of Wavves previous work, including the lo-fi attack of “Mystic,” which buries Williams under stacks of distorted sound before engaging with a singular synth riff. But he always brings it back to some of his hookiest songs yet, like the soaring title track, which makes use of backup vocals by Jenny Lewis and delivers another instantly recognizable, could-be radio hit from 1996. If only all pop-punk, surf-alt or what have you was this catchy, smartly written and unafraid of hooks! Afraid of Heights succeeds as Williams’ clearest bid yet for crossover success, yet it doesn’t sacrifice his essential slackery appeal. File it next to your Dookie, Blue Album and Doolittle records and embrace the fuzzy pop of Afraid of Heights.
Wavves – “Demon to Lean On” (Plus Preorder Afraid of Heights!)
The second released song from Wavves’ upcoming Afraid of Heights balances its various elements well — a simple riff building to a KROQ-friendly chorus with cool, watery guitars in the verses and soaring vocals. It sounds like the best bits of my high school CD collection condensed neatly to four minutes. Buzz Clips 4eva.
Preorder Afraid of Heights on CD or LP. It’s due March 26 on Mom + Pop. Also check out "Sail to the Sun" from Afraid of Heights.
Earl Sweatshirt – “Whoa”
The second taste of the new Earl Sweatshirt album, Doris, is full of sinister sounds — a reverbed out “whoaaa” that descends into the sewer, that ominous piano that creeps up halfway through, and a reference to “ol’ 2010 shit.” Could be referencing his backstory, about being plucked from obscurity by Tyler, the Creator (who appears on this track), joining Odd Future, releasing his first album at age 16 in 2010, then being sent away at to boarding school in Samoa by his mother for getting into trouble. He’s been slowly re-emerging again, with big guest spots on Frank Ocean’s sublime “Super Rich Kids,” among other places. But from first track “Chum” and now this, Earl Sweatshirt’s past quasi-false starts and reintroduction will be a thing of the past once Doris drops. There’s no release date yet, so just keep an ear out. Am I the only one who wants to see this video made into a full film?
L.A.-based Wavves has released the second single from his forthcoming album, Afraid of Heights, due March 26 on Mom+Pop/Warner. The big leagues haven’t softened Wavves’ crashing sound, but “Demon to Lean On” is also one of the most refined pop songs he’s released thus far, with nice touches like the occasional castanets and milky guitar in the verses. But those crushing Blue-album Weezer chords in the chorus should bring many more kids into the Wavves fold. Wavves previously released the “Sail to the Sun” single and video. They’ll be touring with FIDLAR in the Spring.
Thee Oh Sees Announce New LP
Another year, another Thee Oh Sees album. If that sounds like a knock, it isn’t — San Fransisco garage kings Thee Oh Sees have released three albums in the past two years (including last year’s Putrifiers II), all of them great, so there’s no reason to think this one won’t follow the same route. Between these guys and Ty Segall, there must be something in the water in San Francisco that makes garage bands incredibly prolific and solid at the same time. Acid, maybe. Floating Coffin is out April 16 on Castle Face.