American indie rock band Day Wave’s third EP 'Crush' packs new weapons

  • Songwriter Jackson Phillips' lyrics are strong and self-assured on the band's latest release since 2017's 'The Days We Had'.
  • While the first half of the album follows the group's typical recipe, they shake things up on the second half.
Chris Gillett |

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'Crush' is the third release from American indie rock band Day Wave.

In an otherwise quiet week for music releases, American indie rock project Day Wave has returned with their third EP Crush. This is the band’s first release since their brilliant 2017 debut album The Days We Had.

Opener and lead single Starting Again carries on where songwriter Jackson Phillips left off, capturing the upbeat energy of his earlier EPs Headcase and Hard To Read, with dreamy keyboard arpeggios, beachy clean guitar-picking harmonies and reverberating “oohs”. But instead of playing the doting, lovelorn figure of the past, Phillips has a self-assuredness to his lyrics this time around – “Here I go looking ahead/I’m starting again/I won’t be caught in the moment/I’m starting again/And I will take care of myself”. Along with follow-up single Potions, these are classic Day Wave tracks, and not exactly anything new to their arsenal.

Thankfully, the second half of the album addresses this. Empty initially follows their usual indie recipe, but as the song develops, grittier guitar tones cut through, along with more abstract and complex bass lines. Lyrically highlights a much more vulnerable and personal turmoil, as the chorus pleads, “Just stay away/My soul is empty now/But I don’t want you feeling the same”.

Title track Crush is the unexpected highlight, thanks to beautifully warm, rolling piano chords, tape hiss and muted brass creating a comforting aesthetic around Phillips’ fragile, isolated vocals, “If I saw you alone/I know it’s just I’m not awake anymore/If I had in my hand/All I did wrong/I’d crush it to death”.

Hopefully these tracks are a sign of more to come from Day Wave, as Phillips has crushed it again on this release.

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