Wavves is the DIY pop-punk project of Nathan Williams. The band has a gritty punk-infused lo-fi sound that permeates this album. The band’s notorious heavy drinking can be seen as the catalyst for this album, which sounds like a hangover in more ways than one. Many of these songs even begin like a hangover — noisy and ugly, but eventually culminating into something more hopeful. Also, he talks about having a headache in multiple songs, once again: hangovers. What you’ll really find here is something similar to the Beach Boys going to a Ramones concert and getting trashed. I know, it sounds too perfect. Overall, this is a very listenable album that is grimy and angry but filled to the brim with shiny pop vibes that focus on real life lyrics that everyone can relate.
Must Hear: “Way Too Much,” “Pony,” “My Head Hurts” and “Wait”
The members of JR JR, previously named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., are growing as people and musicians — and you can hear it. Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein have been making music together since 2009. Since then, they have always danced the line with pop music but have always kept a sense of indie quirkiness. While still engaging in some of that quirk, they are moving in a different direction. It’s pop, but not really. It’s more of an ’80s new wave pop with a new, fresher orchestration. This album is weeping with intense and awesome melodies and synth work while focusing on a song writing style similar to modern pop. Their lyrics are contemplative and poetic, which adds to the aesthetic of a grown up band.
Must Hear: “Gone,” “Hypothetical,” “Break My Fall,” “James Dean” and “In The Middle”