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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 7:09 am | Fair 43º


Day Wave, Dear Boy to Perform at SOhO

We The Beat will present Day Wave with Dear Boy and Blonder Thursday, June 29, at SOhO in Santa Barbara. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets available at wethebeat.nightout.com. The event is open to those age 18 and older.

Jackson Phillips, the California-based vocalist/multi-instrumentalist behind Day Wave, trained as a jazz drummer in his youth, He studied the instrument at Berklee College of Music before switching gears to learn production and recording.

He began to focus on songwriting, and learned to dial back the complex scholastic headiness of sound in favor of a more honed in, precise, and felt outlet. The result is Day Wave's brand of euphoric purity.

Day Wave's music is guitar-based pop with electronic undertones, propelled by Phillips' lyrics and knack for melancholy melody.

"The main idea with the music is to grow, sonically and in every way, and that's kind of why it started out small and lo-fi, so there was room to grow," Phillips said. "I wanted to give myself headroom so the future projects could be taken somewhere."

Following his time in Boston at Berklee, Phillips, 27, a native of Northern California's Marin County, spent time in New York and Los Angeles before moving to Oakland and starting Day Wave in the summer of 2014.

He bought his first guitar and a drum machine and began looking at music from the perspective of a songwriter, as opposed to that of a specialist, with the aim of simplification foremost in his mind.

"You can lose the music when you get so caught up in all the technology," he said. "I was kind of burnt out and I wanted to approach it from a different angle.

"I was only using synthesizers, still new to everything beyond just being a drummer. I was doing the same thing over and over again. I kind of boxed myself into this one way of creating songs, so I bought a guitar to simplify things," he said.

He finished his first batch of songs in November 2014, eventually self-releasing an EP called Headcase.

He called the project Day Wave as a nod to what the finished music sounded like, while it slowly started to pick up buzz on Soundcloud and from blogs. Empowered by the act of creating music with only himself to please, Phillips flourished.

"I was just trying to make something that I really liked," he said. "I think in the previous years I wasn't confident and was second-guessing myself because I'd never made songs before.

"With Day Wave, I went back to my 15-year-old self, who was just listening to tons of Pink Floyd and prog rock. 'This is what I think is cool. Who cares if anyone else likes it?'"

Now, Day Wave is working on its debut full-length album, to be released this year by Harvest Records.

Phillips has enlisted the help of Mark Ranken, the engineer known for his work with Paul Epworth (Adele, Bloc Party, Queens of the Stone Age), to help give his music a sonic step-up to properly begin to fill its unlimited headspace and potential.

"Day Wave's sound is very pop at its core, so I think it could appeal to a lot of people," Phillips says. "I'm not trying to do that as much as I am making the music the way I'd naturally make it, and it would be cool if the project could just grow.

"That was always the goal: To have it build slowly over time. If you want to do it right, you've got to do it over time. I want to get more comfortable with every step."

Born in Los Angeles, Dear Boy wrote its debut EP in Vauxhall, London. Tracked by Chad Bamford (Spiritualized) and mixed by Michael Patterson (Trent Reznor, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), the Dear Boy EP was released in September 2013.

Propelled by the single Oh So Quiet, Dear Boy built a devoted live following, selling out local venues such as the Troubadour and The Bootleg Theater, along with performances at SXSW 2014/2015 in Austin, Texas, and a national tour supporting Kitten.

Aug. 12 marked the release of the newly recorded single, Hesitation Waltz, produced by Doug Boehm (Girls) and mixed by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Wire, Merchandise).

Recorded in part at the legendary Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, Hesitation Waltz affirms “their new band identity by injecting some Anglophile-friendly edginess into their pop grandiosity” according to BuzzBands LA.

"Hesitation Waltz is about the impossibility of reconnecting," the band said. "Before every fall, there is a moment that you take for granted. This song lives in that moment.”

In 2014, Dear Boy performed with Cloud Nothings, X Ambassadors, Meg Myers, INVSN & Night Terrors of 1927.

On Sept. 11, 2015,  the band released its first international 7" via Easy Hell/Manimal Vinyl, with Hesitation Waltz sharing the disc with Dear Boy's previously unreleased take on The Ghost in You by the Psychedelic Furs.

Yahoo music said "the remake is retro yet thoroughly modern, a sort of alt-prom anthem for a new generation of Andie Walshes."

The band spent the rest of the year supporting Peter Murphy, The Maccabees, The Airborne Toxic Event and spending a few weeks with on the road with The Dears.

— Alex Garello for We The Beat.


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