Mercury Lounge, NYC
Day Wave, the new alt-emo-surf-pop band, the project of Jackson Phillips, played last night at Mercury Lounge. Promoting the new EP, Headcase, the five member live stage band dove right into the set.
Starting out with the single, “Nothing At All”, the sweet vocals contrasting with the world weary ennui of the lyrics “What am I good for/Somebody tell me/I don’t know anymore”, the band was crisp and energetic right from the start, a sharp snare sound keeping things tight. The crowd was right there with them. The second song, “Total Zombie” elicited a howl of pleasure of a pair of girls in front, possibly delighted with Philips’ doe eyed, chiseled features and stage presence, a mix of earnest watchfulness and introspective stillness that matched the bittersweet beach party reflections of the lyrics.
The music is carefully put together, fashioning a surf-infused depression that you can dance to. The summery appeal of the songs was not lost on the sold-out crowd. After a few songs, Jackson Phillips said hello and announced that it was their first show in New York. The audience weren’t shy about shouting out their approval.
Day Wave knows the appeal of a hooky chorus and a heart-tugging middle section that allows even more emo verve to surge through. By the time they reached the last song, “We Try But We Don’t Fit In”, a serious anthem of summer energy, the relaxed ease with which Day Wave aced their New York debut left the audience convinced they had been in the right place to be last night.
Day Wave is playing a late show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, tonight, August 20. Go catch the wave.
Review by Alice Severin