Places can shape your sound. Not always, but usually. Indie bands in the Pacific Northwest, for instance, can sound darkly soothing and overcast like the weather they hide from. Bands in the South can sound humid, languid and swampy. And Southern California bands? Sunny and surfy like the 405.
Indie psych-rock band Ghost Wave is from Auckland, New Zealand, and on their new sophomore album, Radio Norfolk, you can hear it. I'll spare you the cliché Lord of the Rings references to the country, but New Zealand is indeed mystical, otherworldly and very, very raw. Surely this two-island nation of quiet fjords, towering volcanoes and thick sub tropical forests shaped their music, which sounds a little Tame Impala, a little Zombies, a bit surfy and a bit psychedelic.
Opening the album with "Honey Punch," you quickly notice the tambourine jangles in the percussion, the fuzzy synths and layered guitars transforming you into a passenger on a road trip down their version of the 405 South. Which pretty much leads to the bottom of the earth. But even in your corner of the States, or anywhere for that matter, it's a great album to have looping on a lengthy road trip. Just make sure you have your boards packed in the car; the music's actually quite good for that, too. -Beau Flemister
Listen to “All U Do Is Kill” from their newest album Radio Norfolk below: