Wave 21 Drops LP

Featuring a mixture of cutting country anthems and poetic pastoral ballads, Wave 21 deliver an absolute masterpiece with their new self-titled record, and critics like myself haven’t been shy about saying so. Over forty minutes or so, we’re treated to one epic track after another in immediate succession of each other, and if you’re not the type of person who likes to move and groove to a primal riff, this might not be a country album you’re going to be able to get into. Indebted to the amplified catharsis of rock n’ roll but steeped in folk music’s simplicity, Wave 21’s sound wasn’t meant to be overanalyzed or read into. If they do have some sort of agenda with their music, it pretty much revolves around getting us shaking to a fun beat like we used to.


Songs like Wave 21’s “Come to Me” are pretty much the exact reason why I got into country music as much as I did when I was younger. Both the lyrics and the music are freewheeling, rollicking and intensely relatable, and it has the framework of the same sonnets that musicians of another time once composed to make people feel a sense of community and kinship in places of great isolation. Put simply, this track carries with it the very spirit of the country, and if you care as much about music as I do, it’s a rousing moment of emotional reflection to hear it being played with such honest zeal.

Alongside its nimble, tightly wound lyrics, the twisting beat of “Pink Party” becomes so much more complicated than any of the drum patters I’ve heard other supposedly “smart” rock bands employing, and I would even go as far as to say that the girth of its tonality is so hypnotizing that operating heavy machinery while listening to this track wouldn’t be the brightest idea. Getting lost in Wave 21’s suffocating wall of sound is part of what it means to really delve into this album’s creative structure, and I found its entrancing nature to actually be its most attractive quality. It isn’t often that a non-ambient band is able to help me relax after a long stressful day of researching, let alone a country group like this one.

No matter where we choose to begin or where we eventually end up with Wave 21, this album demands our attention in every layer of its assembly and doesn’t allow us to break away from its draw for even a split second. I possibly would have arranged the track order a little differently than the band did, but this is still a better set of songs compiled in a single location than any other non-Greatest Hits record you’re going to come in contact with this year (or possibly any other). The rivalry between the American and Canadian country music scenes is only bound to get a whole lot hotter with the emergence of this crew as the top dogs on the circuit right now, but I for one think that when artists make it a point to try and outdo each other, it’s we the listeners who end up winning the battle.

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0rm0gWc7RWsOeR8PrKtEGA

Gwen Waggoner