Breaking Waves – BREAKING WAVES (2018)

Breaking Waves is a musical duo made up of a bass player and a drummer who can create the sound of a four-piece band through their songs.  This duo thrives on the ability to be different through their music and believes that they have a mixed genre and they ‘happily take influence’ from all different styles of music, which is evident in their latest album, BREAKING WAVES.

Upon hearing the album, BREAKING WAVES, I was immediately drawn to it and the sound it carried.  Each song could connect differently and they were all unique, no two songs sounded the same.  I noticed the play with different genres throughout the album as well.  The few that stood out to me were soft rock, indie and dance music and some songs attracted the genres of heavy rock and country.  Although I found many songs that I enjoy, my favourite part of the album was the instrumentals.  A heavy drum and bass introduced each song, which I found showed off the ability and talent of this duo.  As they are initially musicians, it adds a personal touch to the album and, in like, to each song.

The song ‘Big Trouble’ is a great introduction to the album.  It begins with an echoed bass, and then the drums come in and make their presence known.  This rift that is heard at the beginning is carried through the entirety of the song, which I enjoyed.  I think this song holds a powerful message that is supported by the way the song was put together.  All parts of the song work together and bounce off each other to create a mini-masterpiece that holds hopes for the rest of the album. In my opinion, this song is about breaking apart from the rest to take a chance on the unknown.  The instruments along with the lyrics set up this image of a troublemaker going against everything he has known and breaking some rules along the way.  He is doing what he needs to do to get to where he needs to be.

The second song on the BREAKING WAVES album is ‘Chance In Love’.  To me, it felt like this song loosely drew on the genre of country mainly through the instrumentals, which I think was deliberate.  Country music is usually about the man never being good enough for the girl they want and need and I think this is the approach Breaking Waves is taking with this song.  This song is about being caught in bad relationships that become purely physical until it’s time to move on.  He is confused by how to make it out of this rut and he believes he is missing his chance at romance.

The album then continues with songs that play with the indie and soft rock genre.  ’Black Eyes Blue Skies’ is about the struggle to connect as well as the need to divide from his past and the mistakes he has made.  ‘Somebody’ attracts the idea of being familiar to someone who disappears from your life and now they are nobody to you.  ‘Only Words’, to me, was about the power to rise above from the constraints of society and not to let others control you with their words.  All of these songs are deeply sad which is masked by the upbeat instrumentals.

‘Never Lies’ is a two-part song on the album that plays with the main genres, indie and soft rock.  The first part of the song discusses a girl who is lonely, sad and trying to hide from the world.  To me, this song was the most unique of the whole album as it uses bass as the predominant instrument while the other songs don’t.  This along with the lyrics expresses the intimacy between the boy and the girl and show that he really cares for her.  The drums are gentle in the song which I think is an important feature; they are trying to express that this is a sad song, they want her story to be known even though she just wants to hide away and be alone.  Part two of the song is purely instrumental.  This is a powerful part of the album, as they are not trying to be a four-piece band, there is no trickery; it is just the two of them.  We already know what they are trying to say in this song, so the instruments only carry the emotion and let the listener think.

Breaking Waves continue their album with songs like ‘Better’, which portrays the power of hindsight and wishing you could change the past.  ‘Daydream’ is about being caught in a trance and this is evident through the repetition of the lyrics.  ‘Things you don’t know’ displays a willingness to see a different side of the world and ‘Click Again’ is about the world as a whole, starting again and changing the way we live.  All of these songs show a different side of the music created by Breaking Waves and the various dimensions a band can take to make each song different while telling a story.

The last song of the album, ‘Over Yet’, is one of my favourites because of the instrumentals and the fact that it took me a while to understand what the lyrics were trying to say.  The song begins with a slow intro from the bass and then when the drums are introduced the whole dynamic of the song changes, from a slow and quiet song to a loud and upbeat one.  From listening to the complex lyrics I discovered that the song is about waiting for something to be over, I gathered a breakup and the pain that comes from that.  The song portrays a sense of confusion because he keeps asking somebody to tell him what is happening like this was unexpected.  Towards the end of the song they are repeating the lyrics, “isn’t it better to face this together”, which makes it seems like they are begging for someone to come back to them and they don’t want it to be over.  I think it is a great song that did its job in closing the album on a good note.

The cover art is an important aspect of any album, especially this one, as it lets the listener know what they are getting themselves into.  The cover art of BREAKING WAVES shows the two men, presumably the band members, sitting on the floor back to back.  The man on the right is sitting in front of a white wall with a bird that has escaped from a cage and is flying away.  There is a painting behind the bird of a green field, a pleasant setting.  The man on the left is faced with the opposite situation; he is sitting in front of a black wall and is holding a bird that is still caged.  In his painting is the same field but it is dark and moody.  I believe that this cover holds substantial importance to the set up of the album as well as the band.  In my opinion, the group feels trapped within certain constraints, and they want to break free, be different and do what they want to do, which I believe is evident in the songs.

Overall, I think that is album is unlike any I have heard before, as each song is so unique and different to the last.  Some songs were complex to understand and others were easy to put together.  Although the lyrics played a huge role in understanding the songs, I think it was possible to hear the emotions that the band were experiencing through the bass and drum pieces that were present, which not many musicians can accomplish.  So do yourself a favour and listen to this album, once and then twice and then listen to their other music and I’ll do the same.

BREAKING WAVES will be released in Spring 2018.  Pre-order the album from Breaking Waves’ Facebook.
Images courtesy of Breaking Waves.

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