Following the breakout success of his first two EPs, Jackson Phillips, a.k.a. Day Wave, has released his debut album. His sound displays a gorgeous serenity, one which can wash your troubles away. His single ‘Wasting Time’ was nominated for Will 2 Listen’s ‘Alternative Song of the Year’ in 2016. ‘Something Here’ and ‘Untitled’ were nice follow-ups but suggested a lack of diversity from the Oakland artist. His dreamy alt-pop sound has lured us in but does he have anything else to offer?
‘Home’ doesn’t suggest that he has. It’s perfectly comforting in tone but does little to differentiate itself from what has come before. And so we begin a monotonous journey of recycled ideas, varied only by subtle changes in tempo. The Days We Had suffers in the same way that Tape Waves’ ‘Here To Fade’ did last year. Sticking to a formula, Phillips is doing little to hold my interest as I trudge through the haziness of ‘Bloom’; an enjoyable piece on its own but again it suffers from a lack of diversity.
And so we begin a monotonous journey of recycled ideas, varied only by subtle changes in tempo.
Phillips prefers to distance his vocal from the rest of the instrumentation. To do this on a few tracks would suffice, but to employ this method on all of them denies the listener any satisfying vocal hooks. It’s almost as if he wrote instrumentals and has simply added his vocal as an extra layer to the mix. Listening to ‘On Your Sound’ and ‘Promises’ I’m having to focus hard to hear his lyrics; something which is difficult to accomplish in an aural dreamscape.
Day Wave has found his own sound and used it to death without any significant development. Whereas ‘The War On Drugs’ would avoid getting “Lost in the Dream” and Real Estate would seek to “Serve the Song”, Day Wave stagnates and fails to expand his horizons.
By Will Hunt
Formulaic – an album of similar-sounding songs
Nice ethereal sounds
Vocals are lost in the mix.
|1. Something Here|
|6. On Your Side|
|7. Bring You Down|
|8. Wasting Time|
|11. I’m Still Here|