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Named for his fear of the ocean, Wavves, the skuzzy project of San Diego slacker Nathan Williams, is a blend of distorted no-fi and refined sunshiny melodies. Charmingly messy, most of his lyrics, while difficult to decipher, generally revolve around the subjects of weed, boredom, and the beach -- when he isn't poking jabs at the gloomy subculture of goth rock (a common theme, found in "Goth Girls," "California Goths," "Summer Goths," "Surf Goths," and "Beach Goths"). Wavves was conceived just after Williams, at age 21, quit his job as a clerk at Music Trader, while he was dividing his free time between skateboarding, writing for his hip-hop blog, Ghost Ramp, and making music using an '80s Tascam cassette recorder and Garage Band software. Due to his inexperience with the program, the result of one month's worth of bedroom recording sessions was two full albums of songs: all completely mangled by overdriven inputs. Rather than scrapping the material, he embraced the in-the-red aesthetic and started promoting the songs online. Wavves was quickly embraced and touted as "the next big thing" by Internet music critics and fellow bloggers. Many praised the immediacy and D.I.Y. nature of his work, and Williams capitalized on those aspects, continuously uploading free digital versions of his music -- including two 7" singles, a cassette, and an EP -- all with simple self-drawn artwork or scanned photos for cover art. Wavves' first LP, simply titled Wavves, became available around this time as well, and it was released in a limited run by Woodsist. The more confusingly titled Wavvves (note the third "V") followed just after, and was planned for release by De Stijl before Williams jumped ship to Fat Possum. After the track list was revamped, the release date was pushed back a month and Wavvves was officially made available on March 17, 2009. After receiving mostly glowing reviews in April, Wavves got his share of bad press in late May. While performing live at the Primavera Sound Festival, assisted by drummer Ryan Ulsh, Williams had a minor meltdown and walked offstage. Later, he issued an apology, chalking up the incident to poor decision-making and a drug concoction of ecstasy, Valium, and Xanax. In 2010, after recording a few tracks with indie drummer extraordinaire Zach Hill, Williams entered the studio with Grammy-winning producer Dennis Herring to record a straightforward and surprisingly polished album. Following the August release of King of the Beach, Wavves toured as a trio with Williams assisted by former bandmates of the late Jay Reatard, bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Billy Hayes. After parting with Fat Possum, Williams released a new EP in the fall of 2011 under the Wavves name, titled Life Sux, featuring guest appearances by Best Coast and Fucked Up. He and Pope then began recording a new album with the production help of John Hill (Rihanna, Santigold), using their own money to finance the project. Mom + Pop signed the band and released the slickly produced, very '90s-influenced Afraid of Heights in early spring of 2013. Williams next focused on his beat-driven project Sweet Valley -- which he and his brother Joel started in 2012 -- realeasing their album SV in July 2013. Not content to stop at two, he formed another band, Spirit Club, in 2014 which featured his brother again, and Andrew Caddick (aka Jeans Wilder). Williams' collaborative spirit remained unquenchable and he teamed with Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings to record an album, No Life for Me, in 2014. It was released by Williams' Ghost Ramp label, right before Wavves fifth album. The stripped down, very hooky V was their first album for Warner Bros. and the process was painful for Williams, as a series of angry tweets sent out just before the September 2015 release date made clear. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Stations Featuring

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    Indie Rock Mix

    Indie Rock Mix
    3 songs

    Indie Party

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Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   Demon to Lean On
  3.   King of the Beach
  4.   Post Acid
  5.   Way Too Much
  6.   Baby Say Goodbye
  7.   Super Soaker
  8.   Bug
  9.   I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl
  10.   Pony
  11.   Flamezesz
  12.   My Head Hurts
  13.   Nine is God
  14.   Idiot
  15.   When Will You Come
  16.   Baseball Cards
  17.   Green Eyes
  18.   Convertible Balloon
  19.   Linus Spacehead
  20.   Leave
  21.   Take on the World
  22.   Mickey Mouse
  23.   Killr Punx, Scary Demons
  24.   Cry Baby
  25.   Tarantula
  26.   Gimme a Knife
  27.   Destroy (feat. Members of Fucked Up)
  28.   So Bored
  29.   Everything Is My Fault
  30.   To the Dregs
  31.   Teenage Super Party
  32.   Goth Girls
  33.   Wait
  34.   Heart Attack
  35.   Redlead
  36.   All the Same
  37.   Heavy Metal Detox
  38.   That's on Me
  39.   Paranoid
  40.   Afraid of Heights
  41.   Dog
  42.   Lunge Forward
  43.   Yoked
  44.   The Boys Will Love Us
  45.   Space Raider
  46.   Lover
  47.   Beach Goth
  48.   Sun Opens My Eyes
  49.   No Hope Kids
  50.   Loser Year
  51.   California Goths
  52.   Nodding Off by Best Coast
  53.   Side Yr On
  54.   Here's To The Sun
  55.   Summer Goth
  56.   Spaced Raider
  57.   Cop
  58.   TV Luv Song
  59.   Poor Lenore
  60.   Beach Demon
  61.   Beat Me Up
  62.   Gun In the Sun
  63.   I Can't Dream
  64.   Hippies is Punks
  65.   Rainbow Everywhere
  66.   Weed Demon
  67.   Vermin
  68.   Mystic
  69.   Intro Goth
  70.   Sail to the Sun
  71.   Surf Goth
  72.   Wavves

Artists Related to Wavves

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