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FM 102/1 Artists in Residence: American Authors & Wavves


Sponsored by Noah's Ark

 

AMERICAN AUTHORS
 

 

WAVVES
 

 


To find out more about American Authors, visit weareamericanauthors.com, and like them on Facebook here.

Get music from American Authors, including their latest single, Believer, on iTunes or their official website.

Brooklyn-based alt rock band American Authors first met as students at Berklee College of Music. Shortly after, the foursome dropped out, moved into a small apartment in Bushwick, New York, and started a band. While playing a show in the city, the band was noticed by music producers Shep Goodman and Aaron Accetta, who eventually signed them to their production company, Dirty Canvas. They went on to write ‘Believer,’ the first song to develop their signature sound. In December 2012, the song landed at Sirius XM’s Alt Nation radio, whose tastemaker DJ’s and diehard listeners alike wholeheartedly embraced the song and its human counterparts. Within one month and without a record label, Believer made it onto the station’s tough-as-nails Alt 18 Countdown and led to a huge spike in social media and music sales, an enthusiastic bevy of ‘Believers,’ and a mini-tour with fellow alt rock bands A Silent Film, GoldFields, and Carousel.

Self-described “laid-back dudes,” American Authors is comprised of Zac Barnett (vocals), James Adam Shelley (guitar/banjo), Dave Rublin (bass), and Matt Sanchez (drums). Together they hail from the four corners of the country, each bringing their own influences and experiences to the writing table to create pop-flavored alt rock sprinkled with four-part harmonies, spirited lyrics, and contagious optimism. To hear their music and to watch them perform, it can be said that American Authors has the natural ‘it’ factor that leads to music’s most successful artists.

“We’re the authors of our lives, creating music from what we’ve lived, from what we hope for, from what we feel. Every day is different and like everyone, our emotions change according to our personal highs and lows and by the challenges or triumphs that affect all of us,” said Barnett. “We’re not afraid to be goofy one day and serious the next. We just want to be true to ourselves and share our stories for as long as people are willing to listen.”

 

 


To find out more about Wavves, visit wavves.net, and like them on Facebook here.

Get music from Wavves, including their latest release, Afraid of Heights, on iTunes or their official website.

Straight from the dungeons of L.A., Wavves are releasing Afraid Of Heights, their fourth album. Now a duo consisting of guitarist Nathan Williams and bassist Stephen Pope, they sound bigger, brasher, and shockingly more professional than ever on Afraid Of Heights which positions the band to take their rightful place amongst the pop-punk gods.

You know the story by now. Bored dude in his parents' tool shed-turned-room with no insulation and a record stuck to a hole in the wall to keep the mice out turns on a four-track recorder, fucks around and ends up with two of the oddest, noisiest, and downright catchiest albums in recent memory. Those two records (Wavves and Wavvves) were winningly, messily chaotic-grand on a small scale, but not necessarily world-beaters. Which is why when Williams, then solo, linked up with erstwhile Jay Reatard sidemen Stephen Pope (bass) and Billy Hayes (drums) and busted the door down with the stunner that was King Of The Beach, a pop-punk blackout for the DeLonge and Deleuze crowd. After the smoke of King Of The Beach had cleared, Williams and Pope released the Life Sux EP, a testament to the crushing powers of rock n' roll and ennui.

The product of more than a year of writing and recording, Afraid Of Heights expands the Wavves sound while remaining true to the band's original vision - it was created with absolutely no label involvement. Working with producer John Hill (known for his work with M.I.A. and Santigold, as well as with hip-hop acts such as Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan), the band found a willing party in creating what they felt was the truest expression of what they wanted. As for the Afraid Of Heights sessions themselves, Williams paid for them out-of-pocket, explaining his reasoning with, "In doing so, I had no one to answer to. We recorded the songs how and when we wanted without anybody interfering, and that's how it's supposed to be."

Lyrically, Williams took the focus less off of his own melancholy and out into the world, with songs that dealt with crooked preachers ("Sail To The Sun"), relationships ("Dog") and killing cops ("Cop"). Even when he reaches outside his own damaged psyche, Williams is still making Wavves songs, saying, "The general theme of the record is depression and anxiety, being death-obsessed and paranoid of impending doom. I feel like the narration is almost schizophrenic if you listen front to back; every word is important, even the constant contradictions and lack of self-worth. That's all a part of this record-questioning everything not because I'm curious, but because I'm paranoid." That paranoia manifests itself on many of the album's best tracks, such as the spacey drones and bummazoid vibes of the Weezer-referencing, getting-drunk-because-you-can't-bring-yourself-to-care-vibey "Afraid Of Heights," or the string-aided "I Can't Dream," which rounds the record out with the optimistic, "I can finally sleep," before subverting itself with, "But I can't dream." With their biggest and boldest-sounding record yet, Wavves might have finally come into their own, a fully-realized punk rock force in both sound and vision.


 

 

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