Band of the Day

2013.11.27

Ghost Wave

Plunge headfirst into a riptide of surfy psychedelic garage rock from New Zealand
Here she comes, like a hurricane.
lyrics from Here She Comes

The Ghost Wave sound finds itself somewhere between the Flying Nun bands of the ‘80s, the British explosion of the ‘60s and the wayfaring dubs of Lee "Scratch" Perry. At its inception, the brainchild of Matthew L. Paul (Vocals, Guitar), Ghost Wave was a project relegated to a small room in Auckland, New Zealand. In time, the sonic chemistry that resulted from one person’s relentless work caught the attention of fellow music maker and soon-to-be collaborator Eammon Logan (Drums). Together they self-recorded what came to be their self-titled EP; a collection of sunny and warped songs characterized by jangly guitars underpinned by motor-style rhythms and a unique melodic sensibility. Ghost Wave recruited the talents of Mike Ellis (Bass, Vocals) and Jamie Kennedy (Guitar) to assist with the recording. Shortly after, both join the band.

After delivering an impressive first collection of songs, Ghost Wave was increasingly drawn to their rehearsal space and studio rather than the stage. The group mounted a stockpile of new songs and demos. Shy and often somewhat reclusive, the band was in uncharted territory when they left their studio and the live show took shape. While playing shows and parties around their hometown, the band started to gain local attention and soon the acclaim of international tastemaker blog, Neon Gold. Praising the first single from their self-titled EP, Neon Gold proclaimed that ‘Sunsetter, “two and a half minutes of sun kissed 70’s bliss,” is a song of “anthem status.” The blog drew sonic comparisons from the likes of Dandy Warhols, to Deerhunter and Tame Impala. Pretty Much Amazing expressed early support for the band, premiering single “Hippy” and describing it as an “invincible lo-fi summer jam, the one that fits the fireworks and the too-fast driving.”

With some early praise in their pockets and a quickly developing catalog of work, Ghost Wave traveled to the U.S. for shows in New York, Los Angeles and a showing at CMJ. Ghost Wave returned to the U.S. several months later for appearances at 35 Denton Festival and SXSW; showcasing even more new songs along with an updated live configuration. Shortly after, the band caught the attention of Flying Nun Records; a home to many bands that Ghost Wave proudly acknowledge as influences. Flying Nun Records recently partnered with Brooklyn-based label: Captured Tracks (DIIV, Mac DeMarco). Ghost Wave’s Ages will be the first release from the seminal New Zealand label since partnering with Captured Tracks.

‘Here She Comes’ is the first single from the forthcoming LP and “Over the course of its 3 minutes and 23 seconds, the Auckland-based quartet layer laid-back and nonchalant vocals over jangly guitars and an upbeat bassline. Supported by a boisterous drumbeat,” says Indie Shuffle. ‘Here She Comes’ is one of ten tracks all recorded and self-produced in various studios around Auckland, New Zealand in six days. Thomas Bell (The Clean) engineered and mixed the record. In describing their new record lead singer and guitarist, Matthew L. Paul notes that it is a departure from the sunny sounds of their debut EP: “There is a kind of amphetamine-like feel to this record. I think, in terms of the way the songs are played, we were less interested in loud/soft and wanted to create a mechanic type sound and song-presence.” Ghost Wave’s debut full-length, Ages, is out now on Flying Nun Records. The response to the record has been building since Pitchfork premiered the advance stream of the record. KUTX selected their track “Bootlegs” as their “Song of the Day”, KCRW picked them as an “Artist You Should Know” and KEXP has added the band to their rotation.

Ghost Wave returned to the U.S. in October with an updated 5-piece configuration now featuring Andy Frost (percussion).