For most of us, the recent global shutdown stopped us in our tracks. Well, for the Waves On Waves it only seemed to spur them on more. With their album ‘Live Wire On The Sunset Strip’ set to be released in January of next year, Waves On Waves are setting out to score our daily soundtracks with a new, unique synth-wave sound. Made up of Ben Trexel, Brian Prost, Marco Farouk and lead-singer Chris Sevier, Waves On Waves expand into the electronic realms with this album, as opposed to the more piano-centred sound they honed in on with their latest release ‘In The Light Of The Aftermath’. And with both albums boasting around twenty tracks, their discography is no small feat. Perhaps it was the recent pandemic that was the catalyst for creating such a huge body of work? The first track — a synth-soaked collaboration with Arwelone — ‘Summer ’93’ sure makes you think so. In fact, each track is a collaboration, which makes for an impressively rich album.
There’s a huge array of vibes radiating from ‘Live Wire On The Sunset Strip’, and ‘Runaway’ is a big contender. The collaboration with Marvel ’83 is an absolute standout as thick layers of synths swim through your speakers. Marvel ’83’s produced a pulsing beat that swells with slickly stacked synth lines, whilst Chris Sevier’s vocals sail over with captivating confidence. The collaboration with Solar Burst is another gem. ‘White Doves’ leans into the ’80s era of retro synth; seriously, the hook is intensely nostalgic. Solar Burst drives the sonic landscape with those pounding ’80s bass and snare drums as washed-out synth lines melt over the top. Chris Sevier’s vocal performance is perfect on this one as his strong vocal tone matches the electric ’80s energy perfectly. Waves On Waves take us on an absolute sonic journey throughout this album as tracks like ‘White Doves’ sit quite comfortably next to tracks like ‘Drive’ — a passionate piano ballad. The Cars’ cover is a beautiful example of what Waves On Waves do best; an arresting vocal line and elegant piano expressions. ‘Live Wire On The Sunset Strip’ concludes with a track that, in comparison to the collaborations with Arwelone, Silverhawk and Niky Nine, seems fairly mellow. Timecop1983 has created a synth backing as smooth as silk. In true retro synth fashion, the snare slaps through the middle, cutting through the sheet of synth lines perfectly. Chris Sevier shows the softer side to his vocals on this one. It’s refreshing to hear the intimate air of his vocal tone. ‘Sparks’ is the perfect way to end an album exploding with ’80s adrenaline. ‘Live Wire On The Sunset Strip’ is a nostalgia-fuelled feat of synth-wave artistry. If you were in the mood for a throwback as we roll into 2022, ‘Live Wire On The Sunset Strip’ deserves to be blasted on its release on the 26th of January.
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By Sasha Lauryn