Day Wave’s new EP Crush might be a candidate for the best thing that Jackson Phillips has ever put together. After taking time away from Day Wave to produce and record with artists like Pete Yorn and Jai Wolf, Phillips delivered a fresh perspective to his Day Wave work and it really comes to the forefront on this new EP.
Written, recorded, and mixed by Phillips at his new home in Los Angeles, the EP showcases a return to two things for Phillips: the creation of mood and ambiance with his arrangements, and the importance of lyrics. It’s a very introspective record from the man behind Day Wave. He sings about relationships sure, but he’s really singing about his place in them. There’s a lot to dissect lyrically on the record but it’s still easy to absorb because of the melodies and the production by Jackson. The songs on this EP, (except for “Crush”), compete with Vampire Weekend on the indie pop scale of artistic credibility paired with intelligent simplicity. There’s nothing complicated about songs like “Starting Again” and “Potions” outside of the lyrics – they’re just fun pop songs big on ambiance and easy to listen to. The piano-based “Crush” is a bit different on this EP, there’s some basic reverb done to Phillips’ vocal, but paired with the piano that Phillips recorded for the song it’s hauntingly beautiful.
These four songs by Day Wave are some of my favorites for this year. The lyrical content is meaningful, the production is amazing, and the songs are just good. If you’re looking to listen to something lightweight but still meaningful, this hits the sweet spot.