He’s back!!! Oh yes… WAVVES returns this summer with “KING OF THE BEACH”, his defiantly brilliant new album, released in August on Bella Union records… (scroll down for ace artwork)
In the life of Nathan Williams, the year 2009 will go down as both a highlight reel and a total sh*t show. Meteorically, feverishly, and somewhat improbably, two albums worth of naïve punk rock he recorded behind his parents’ San Diego home as Wavves became a sensation in the world of indie music. As a result, passports got filled, capers got pulled and lots of good things got said about the music. At the same time, fights got fought, situations got hairy and people got indignant and mean.
Oh well. F*ck it. All of it.
What’s important now is that, in the early part of 2010, Williams has made “King of the Beach”, the new Wavves album…
“King of the Beach” is an adventurous and ambitious record. It cuts deeper into the bleeding throat catharsis and ’60s sunshine soul that Wavves is known for. It also unexpectedly flips out with elements of primitive electronics and psychedelic studio experimentation.
“There was a conscious effort going into this that I didn’t want to make the same record again. I already made the same record twice, with the same f*cking cover art,” says Williams. “It wasn’t overbearing, but I didn’t want to recreate something I’d done. I wanted to make something bigger, something stronger.”
Unlike Wavves’ previously released material, recorded in haphazard bursts on Williams’ laptop, King of the Beach was toiled over for three months at Sweet Tea Recording, a world-renown studio in Oxford, Mississippi. Sweet Tea is also the home of Dennis Herring, producer of the last two Modest Mouse albums, and the man who dismantled and re-assembled the sound on this record.
Another marked difference in the making of King of the Beach was that Williams wrote and recorded two songs with bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Billy Hayes, the duo who became his touring band at the end of 2009. Pope and Hayes formerly backed recently departed garage rock force of nature Jay Reatard. Williams met the two after his infamously disastrous performance at the Primavera Sound Festival in Spain. “I think we all agree that they squeegeed me up, because I melted down,” says Williams.
Though there is a confidence in the scope of the album – from the title track’s denim on sand anthem-baiting to the tweaked pop of “Convertable Balloon” to the unabashed prettiness of “When Will You Come” – Williams’ usual lyrical themes of
self-loathing are still impossible to ignore. “I think everybody feels that way sometimes. You’re a f*cking liar if you don’t,” says Williams. “It wouldn’t make sense if I’m feeling a certain way to not write about it. There are songs about hating myself, but there are also songs about driving in a car with a balloon and playing Nintendo too.”
In the end, though, King of the Beach is not an album for the miserable. While the verses of “Take on the World” enumerate the things Williams hates the chorus resolves into a simple repeated phrase: “To take on the world would be something.”
The album title King of the Beach isn’t meant to be ironic or a self-deprecating joke. It’s a declaration. “Without sounding cheesy, we all wanted to make something inspiring,” says Williams. “It’s the type of thing where you have this much, but you could have more, so go get it.”
“King Of The Beach” is released 30th July 2010 on Bella Union… Live dates to follow soon…
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