Hey, y’all. Courtney here! For this week’s Song of the Week, I asked my friend Kolbe to write about anything she’s been jamming a lot lately. Kolbe is a middle school teacher, the associate editor for Texas Towns Revealed, and a fellow music lover like me. In fact, when my sister and I booked our very first show ever as The Villettes, Kolbe graciously stepped in and sang harmonies with me. We’ve also gone to tons of shows together and recorded embarrassing Nirvana and Stevie Nix YouTube covers (if you can find those videos, you are my hero). You might’ve spotted her in my recent Miles post about Tyler, Texas. In effect, she is one of my closest friends and I love her.
Please give Kolbe a warm Model Behaviors welcome!
I don’t know what it is about me, but I have a hard time finding songs that I really like and want to turn up to 11 in this current era of electronic overload. Maybe it dates back to my middle school and early high school years where my friends and I would scream Jesse Lacey and Adam Lazzara lyrics until our throats were sore. In order to connect with a song, I need to hear some dirty guitar and a steady drumbeat. Make me feel like I’m hanging out in a garage.
Wavves and Cloud Nothings are two bands who do just that. I’ve seen both bands several times at festivals, and they are great. Wavves is straight-up California stoner rock. The echoey, surfer vocals layered over rock and gritty guitar effects is essentially Wavves’ trademark sound. If you want a good example of this, you can hear a whole bunch of it on their most popular single, “Demon to Lean On.”
Cloud Nothings has been described as lo-fi pop and post-hardcore, but the band worked with one of Nirvana’s producers on their first album, and I think that can give you the best idea of what they sound like. Dylan Baldi sings with growling vocals, and the music has a darker feel than Wavves, even though the two bands have previously played on the same bill.
Recently, Wavves and Cloud Nothings joined forces to put out a dual album called “No Life for Me.” Well, really it’s Wavves and Dylan Baldi, because none of the other Cloud Nothings members contributed on the album. It was hard picking a favorite track from this 9-song release, but after many listens, I settled on “How It’s Gonna Go.”
From the very first note, “How It’s Gonna Go” starts off with a fuzzy, fast-paced guitar lick that is perfect garage punk. Nathan Williams (Wavves) sings (screams?), “Sun blisters in the snow/Heart beating out of chest/I’m such a fucking mess.”
Then we hear Baldi sing over a clean hook, “I feel it open, I feel/I feel it open up around me.” Which is one of my favorite lyrics and moments from the album.
The song builds all the way through to the end, leaving us with lots of distortion and hard-to-interpret lyrics that are screamed, echoing the confusion and chaos that was expressed lyrically through the early parts of the song.
The song plays into each musician’s strengths, and as a fan of their independent work, you’ll be able to tell the Wavves pieces from those of Cloud Nothings and then admire how they seamlessly blend into one another to make for an album that you want to repeat and repeat and repeat.
If you want to hear a great Cloud Nothings song, check out “Wasted Days.” If you want to hear some of that rough California stoner rock by Wavves, then definitely check out “Demon to Lean on.” Another great track off their joint album is “Come Down.”