The Waves are a musical group shrouded in mystery, ever-revelling in
the experience of creating a different pop music. The more than recommended
recording time spent in far flung seclusion has finally found some exposure
as Grimsey and March Records align forces and bring to light the debut
Waves full-length album.
Recorded in such varying locales as Amsterdam, an Atlanta motel room,
Pachyderm, various cabins in northern Minnesota, Husky Studios in Minneapolis
and polished at Seedy Underbelly, the record wears the frequent flyer
miles it has accumulated on its journey to you.
The Waves are Jeff Kearns (Hang Ups) and Phil Parhamovich along with
a cast of characters from a slew of local bands: Brian Tighe and Chad
Nelson (also of the Hang Ups), Bryan Hanna (The Hot), and vocalists Maria
May and Erica Parhamovich.
Pop has mutated as the Waves avoid typical pop song structures and instead
play catchy and never too-precious rock sounding as smart and respectable
as Guided By Voices and their contemporaries. Press Play.
50 Poems (Self released tape, 1994)
Does Anyone Ever Stop Someone/Bombarded (Brittle Stars 7", 1997)
Flame a Little Brighter (Grimsey/March CD, 2000)
Review by ROCKBITES -
The Waves do Flame A Little Brighter
23 March 2001
Last fall, Minneapolis-based art-pop collective The Waves released their
debut full-length for the US on March Records in association with Grimsey
Records, titled Flame A Little Brighter. In winter it came out in the
UK. And now its spring and were getting around to telling
you about it. Better late than nevertrust me.
The Waves (who have nothing to do with the 70s
into 80s band featuring Kimberly Rew and Katrina Leskanich) are
singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (and videographer) Phil
Parhamovich teamed with most of Minneapolis pop icons The Hang Ups (Jeff
Kearns, Brian Tighe, Chad Nelson) and their producer (Bryan Hanna, also
of The Hot). For some songs on the recordwhich was recorded in the
US and Europe over the course of 5 yearstheyre joined by vocalists
Erica Parhamovich (Phils wife) and Maria May, and by violinist Bethany
Like the UKs Clinic on their 2000 debut Internal
Wrangler, The Waves on Flame A Little Brighter bake a new cake with time-tested
ingredients from the past three decades. But the result in the case of
this somewhat shambolic Wisconsin/Minnesota collective is at once more
varied, more coherent, and more evocative. Moister and tastier, too!
So Ive been studying Flame A Little Brighter
and heres who I think are Phils favorite artists: Syd Barrett,
John Lennon, The Velvet Underground, T-Rex, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus
And Mary Chain, and Pavement. Preheat your oven to 350°F, mix influences
well, add a singular artistic identity plus heaps of poetic sensibility
and bake until you find someone cool like Grimseys Andrea Troolin
to put out your record.
The Waves debuts uncompromising presentation
and idiosyncratic production techniques will probably ensure that mainstream
radio and MTV will never understand it. But theres deep and expansive
beauty & grace on this disc. Buy it now and love it, or read about
it in ten years as one of the great undiscovered pop music treasures of
the decade. Four bites out of five.
...let the air waves flow ...