Wave 21 – Wave 21

Lately some of my colleagues and I have taken to referring to the renewed interest in country-inspired crossover styles like country/pop and country/rock simply as “heartland pop,” and the term actually seems to be taking off a little more than I expected. To sum up what heartland pop sounds like, I’d have to point you in the direction of Wave 21, a quaint Canadian rock band who have a self-titled record out right now that is turning the country music world upside down. The foundation is rooted in the dusty trails that cowboys scouted out a couple of hundred years ago, but their presentation is a populist-influenced one that could only be a product of the here and now (which just so happens to be 2018).

Though some have claimed as much, no one has really been able to make a record that embodies the alternative rock ethos and the countrified language of western music until Wave 21 did this year. Their latest record is anthological in its design but it isn’t an intimidating listen in the least, instead playing out like a compilation of hits instead of just a straight studio album. It’s easy going and palatable to fans of any age, and that’s very rare to find these days where everything is seemingly tailored for teens or adults exclusively.

Wave 21 have got a lot of blues influences in their sound, and they’re astoundingly good at utilizing the patches of sonic space that are often left over in the clean delivery of a solid country song. They’ve spent time learning how to make their music sound as full and textured as it can be, and their efforts have not been in vein. You can tell when an artist really takes their work seriously, and if I had to guess strictly based off of what I’ve heard in this album, I’d have to assume that Wave 21 views music as more of a religion than a career choice.

I didn’t know quite what I was getting myself into when I first picked up this record to give it a try and see what the indie community can’t seem to shut up about, but I walked away feeling like I had legitimately discovered a future icon. From the moment the melody of Ya Ya Ya reaches through the stereo speakers and captivates our senses with its humble sway, the chance to ever discredit Wave 21 and their work as anything other than amazing is crushed in a single fell swoop. They’re onto something bigger than their scene can even estimate.

Possessing all of the skills that it takes and pretty much none of the ego or megalomaniacal attitudes that could hold them back from stardom, Wave 21 are destined for very big things as they embark on this next era of their professional lives. I think their legend is going to really begin on stage when they get out on the road to support this new record, and I plan on being there to see this little piece of history play out for myself. I doubt I’ll be alone.

To find out more about Wave 21, check out their official website by clicking here. Give them a like on Facebook by clicking here & a follow on Twitter by clicking here.

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