Jackson Phillips’ work thus far as Day Wave has been remarkably polished in what is the first outing for the project. First single “Wasting Time” was an adeptly sedate song that never overreached for melody in the name of being “tuneful.” Its follow-up, “Something Here,” came spring-loaded with a whooshing melody that instantly recalled The War on Drugs while distancing itself with a firmer guitar chug.
Now that song has an accompanying video, and Phillips has no pretense about offering up some finely tailored clip. Instead, the entire thing is gently subsumed in degrading nostalgia that feels warm at the center but cold on the corners. The “characters” on screen get along fine, though you can’t help but wonder how much of a put-on it is. Phillips insists that there’s “something here” throughout the song. But just because he’s insistent, and people are looking, doesn’t mean there’s anything to be found.
Phillips’ debut LP as Day Wave, The Days We Had, is due out May 5. Find another single, “Untitled,” here, check out Paste’s Best of What’s Next write-up on Day Wave here, see where he landed on our list of 2016’s best new artists here and find Paste Cloud audio from his 2016 Daytrotter session below.