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 it’s spring and we’re getting around to telling you about it. Better late than never—trust 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 record—which was recorded in the US and Europe over the course of 5 years—they’re joined by vocalists Erica Parhamovich (Phil’s wife) and Maria May, and by violinist Bethany Lacktorin.
    Like the UK’s 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 I’ve been studying Flame A Little Brighter and here’s who I think are Phil’s 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 Grimsey’s Andrea Troolin to put out your record.
    The Waves’ debut’s uncompromising presentation and idiosyncratic production techniques will probably ensure that mainstream radio and MTV will never understand it. But there’s 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 ...