Waves Upon Us started off with an acoustic guitar and djembe in 2013. The band was getting recognized as having a lot of energy and was gaining fans left and right. It wasn’t too much later that the band did the unthinkable and added a bass and violin. All right you caught me exaggerating a bit but it was a good idea and I have proof. The proof comes in their recent four-song release entitled Tsunami.
The music reminded me of something you would hear on a college campus from hippies in a drum circle except it was actually worth listening to. It’s like a super-beefed-up-on-steroids version of that and it is pretty gosh darn enjoyable coming from this four-piece. All I can say is if these guys decided to break out this music on any college campus they would have to fight off the hippies with a stick.
The songs on Tsunami sound incredibly organic. Not just because they are using all organic instrumentation but because of the production. They don’t use a lot of reverb, effects, etc. Everything sounds more or less live, except clean and polished.
The album starts with "Black Widow," which is the story of a woman who uses her wiles to lure men into a sense of security in order to exploit them for financial gains. It’s upbeat, contains infectious vocal melodies and is a pleasure to listen to. I really enjoyed the way the instrumentation coalesced. The violin with the djembe was a nice deviation from more typical guitar, bass and drum.
Waves Upon Us delivers with another well-written tune called “Where the Lightning Strikes.” The music, not the vocal style, reminded me a bit of Graceland era Paul Simon. The song "Tsunami” was actually inspired by a real life tsunami. Despite sounding pretty upbeat and hopeful the content was influenced by the challenges that survivors of the 2011 tsunami (in the Tōhoku region of Japan) faced.
The highlight on the album for me was the last song “The Wanderer.” It has such a chill, jazzy vibe that it is hard to resist and it also feels quite positive.
I have no real complaints and criticisms about Tsunami. The four-song EP is quite good and I look forward to hearing more from Waves Upon Us.
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