Bandcamping #2: Big Wave, Pill Friends

We’re all big fans of the more established acts out there, but some of the most exciting music being made today is produced by DIY artists and offered up for free listening on distant corners of the internet. On Bandcamping, we dig up a couple of gems, old or new, released and streaming for free on the online platform.


Big Wave – The Roots of Love (Come Tumbling Down)

Artist: Big Wave
Album: The Roots of Love (Come Tumbling Down)
Released: June 2012
Free to Download?: No
Style: Twee pop, Lo-fi, C86 revival, Indie pop
For Fans Of: Veronica Falls, Dum Dum Girls, Talulah Gosh

One of my favorite debut records of 2011 was Veronica Falls’ self-titled album. As a huge fan of 80s and 90s twee pop and C86, the thing that really struck me about it was just how sincerely devoted the band sounded to indie pop’s past. In the sea of lo-fi guitar pop bands, no other band was mining these sounds as effectively or as distinctly. When I first heard Big Wave’s The Roots of Love, it struck me in much the same way. Big Wave is a little more jangly, a little less rough – the Sarah Records to Veronica Falls’ Slumberland or K – but it comes from the same place. This isn’t just another take on the beach-bum lo-fi that’s been popularized by Wavves, Best Coast, and Tennis over the past couple of years. Even if it has a bit of the same upbeat, grainy quality, it aims for something more nostalgic, and perhaps timeless. I mean, I half expect to discover that Big Wave bonded over a Pastels badge. More than anything, the songs here have the perfect pop combination: the flash to catch your ear immediately and the substance to stick with you in the long-run. For any fans of this style, there are few 10-minute, 5 song nuggets that are as rewarding as this.

Choice cuts: “Circumstance”, “Leaver’s Party”

–Ryan Stanley


Pill Friends – it’s kyle’s birthday everyday

Artist: Pill Friends
Album: it’s kyle’s birthday everyday
Released: September 2012
Free to Download?: Yes
Style: Lo-fi bedroom rock, Orchestral folk, Emo
For Fans Of: Elliott Smith, Elvis Depressedly

Pill Friends deal in chemicals. It’s right there in the name, it’s in the misery of “Klonopin” and the narcotized bummer-rock rave-ups of “pillspillspills.” Everything’s downcast and a bit burned out, but there’s the stereotypical dichotomy between the feelings of the sound and the lyric. The “laughing into darkness” that Elvis Depressedly’s Mat Cothran sang of on “Waves of Bad Intention” is clearly represented here, in the sardonic dark comedy of the lyrics and the sprightly melodies. The cello that marks “Michael J Faker” lends a certain sorrow, but on the whole the musical sentiment is a lot brighter. It’s the sun-peeking-through-the-clouds romanticism of Elliott Smith paired with alone-and-stoned ramblings about stabbing yourself in the chest and picking up prescriptions of methadone. Heavy shit for sure: it’s pretty hard to believe that this is the first official work they’ve cast out into the world.

Choice cuts: “Klonopin”, “Michael J Faker”

–Colin Joyce