WAVVES: Hideaway

Wavves: Hideaway Album Review | Pitchfork

Nathan Williams is underrated. Wavves are underrated, and it’ll be a crime if the new Wavves record, Hideaway is overlooked.

Is it the best Wavves record to date? Quite possibly. I’ve still got a lot of sentimental attachment to King Of The Beach and Wavves, but there’s something about Hideaway that just really hits you. Maybe it’s the opener Thru Hell that really makes you feel like you’ve been turned onto something truly great, or maybe it’s because you know that Nathan is just incredible at what he does, and let’s be honest- there’s no such thing as a bad Wavves record. This is their seventh record, and maybe it’s because a few years have passed between records but Hideaway has something about it that just calms you. It soothes that part of your brain that just will not shut the fuck up. It’s hard work carrying that around, but Wavves lighten that load. Always have, always will.

I know the record came out just over a month ago but no part of me has wanted to write about anything. It happens from time to time; and I think it means my brain needs re-setting. I’ve been playing Hideaway every single day since it came out, and it’s been a lifeline. I don’t think any record of late has done that, but I’ve noticed most Wavves records have this grip on me.

Hideaway may only be a short record, but with these 9 songs the band give you everything you need and more. Every song on this record will move you in all kinds of ways. When I first played the record in full, I was just blown away with the growth in the Wavves sound. To really appreciate this record, go back and listen to previous Wavves records and give yourself plenty of to soak up Hideaway. The record opens with Thru Hell, and I know it’s super cliched but it’s the one I keep going back to. It’s the one I play the loudest, and I LOVE the line “Can’t talk now, I’m goin’ through hell. Can’t see straight, I don’t feel so well.” Just something about that line that just speaks to me a lot. The song is made to be played loud, that’s for sure.

Aside from Thru Hell quite possibly being one of my favourite songs of the year, the record is made up of anthems that you cannot help but scream along to. Help Is On The Way right through to Planting A Garden, the record just really speaks to you. If you’ve never listened to Wavves before then of course, you’ve been missing out but Hideaway is a mighty fine place to start. Be pretty cool to hear someone’s thoughts on playing this record then go backwards into Wavves records. Wherever and however you start, you’ll probably keep coming back to Hideaway. It’s got a real safety net feel to it, and I love how Nathan can put out records that just speak to how I’m feeling/how I’ve felt time and time again. That’s when you know you’ve found a band to really cling to.

For the foreseeable, I’m probably going to keep on playing Hideaway at least 5 times a day and just getting totally lost in it. There’s a hell of a lot to love about this record, and yeah it’s a damn shame we may not get a UK tour out of this. I can only imagine what this record would be like live. There’s tender moments on the record (Caviar) and there’s parts where you just feel like the song was written for you (Honeycomb.) It is just a divine record, and one I know, like all Wavves records- I just won’t ever get bored of it.

WAVVES-Afraid Of Heights.


“I don’t wanna remember anything.”

Watching one of your favourite bands grow is an exciting thing. I remember when Wavves started. It was only Nathan, and over time has grown. Grown into one of the best lo-fi bands around. Always consistent with their ferocious sound; once you’re a fan, that’s it for life.

Nathan’s vocals on Afraid Of Heights haven’t really changed from King Of The Beach, which came out around 3 years ago now I think. But that’s why I love Wavves. There are no obviously massive changes in their sound, you have to listen extremely closely and have listened intensely to previous releases to get it. However, if you are new to Wavves (where have you been?!) Afraid Of Hearts will lure you in and captivate you just fine.

If you constantly feel like a loser or the arse of society, then I guess you’re going to get a lot of comfort from this record. If you feel hopeless, desperate, out of luck or anything like that; this record will just speak to you. It’ll speak to you like no other. Every song is bold and free of pretentious imagery that is found in far too many bands. Wavves have their own take on it all; I think it is the right way. Simple but nothing short of brilliance.

The summer will creep up on us soon enough, but as you wait and wait for it you are seeking out music to play during the long nights when you feel a bit lost. Or just really really fucking tired. You don’t need to go too far; it’s all in Afraid Of Heights. I really like Cop as it shows Nathan’s gorgeous story-telling in a way like no other does. Yeah it’s about killing a cop and that’s bad- but the way Nathan tells it is so open and vulnerable. Like he’s going to care for his friend and make it all okay again. That’s pretty much the essence of this record; it just makes you feel like everything is going to be alright. Most of the songs on the record last just over 2 minutes. There aren’t many bands that can really hold you and keep you when they make songs this short. The kings of this of course were the Ramones. Wavves do have a hidden punk ethic to their music. Punk isn’t dead, so long as people keep the teachings of it alive. Afraid Of Heights is raw but also frail.

Everything Is My Fault has an ethereal psychedelic vibe to it. Nathan’s voice gently swims through you. Making you take the blame for all the fuck ups. Even if you never did a thing wrong. Some people just like to pass the blame around so they shake responsibility. Those filthy fucks; we don’t need them do we? No. Get rid of them. Right after this, we’ve got That’s On Me which just feels like a massive life lesson. To be honest though, a lot of songs by Wavves feel like a life lesson. If Nathan can get through his troubles which seem identical to your own, then you can get through your own too. They say everything will be alright, maybe it will be. I guess. I Can’t Dream is 5 minutes of sheer heaven. It is stripped back and dreamy. For when you just want something to soothe you, this is the one to do so. Easily.

Nathan has changed. As I listen to the record more and more; you can hear the growth. The band play a bit more harder and his words are more passionate. Growing up does this. Whilst recording the record, Nathan was listening to Weezer’s (best record) Blue Album. You can hear the influence for sure. Not a rip-off, far from it. You can just tell he’s been influenced by something great and in the process has created something really really incredible.

I have no idea how music is going to go this year. I don’t know if we’re going to have a piss-poor year, or if everything is going to be great. I just want it to be as loud as Wavves. So I guess I’m going to call Afraid Of Heights as one of the best records of the year. It’s my favourite so far, for sure. From an entirely personal level, I’m truly connecting with a lot of the lyrics. Wavves merge all I love; lo-fi and garage rock, and just make something I cannot get enough of. This is staying firmly on repeat. Oh and the appearence of Jenny Lewis is wonderful too.

Afraid Of Heights is out on 26th March.