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After boppin to Armani White’s latest drop, it’s important we ‘Keep In Touch’

Armani White is a West Philly-based artist who’s been taking the world by storm for quite some time now. Radiating in all-around positivity, White’s music anonymously lends a smile to those who are going through a tough time.

Since he follows the common expression “every cloud has a silver lining,” White delves into his own experiences to show others that he’ll always thank his lucky stars. Likewise, the once enlisted TIDAL’s rising artist carries a voice that is prone to move crowds.

Between tongue-twisted flows and enunciation, White maintains a high-energy and carefree spirit. In turn, he keeps listeners engaged and leaning over for more.

To Philadelphia Weekly, White said:

“As long as I’m preaching positivity in some form or [another] … producing something thought-provoking, then I could have various messages. [The songs] could portray for you to do something or for you to be something or for you to learn something or for you to take something away whenever you press play.”

In other words, White possesses a lyrical prowess that can only be defined as a God-given talent.

In 2015, Armani White got his big break in the hip-hop scene. White was just a student at Delaware State and when his eventual manager contacted him off of “Stick Up,” a song the rapper uploaded to Sound Cloud, things began looking up.

“Stick Up” did so well that it garnered traction and was featured by Pharrell and Scott Vener on OTHERtone. From there, White never looked back.

Instead of attending classes at Delaware State, he was opening for Big Sean and PARTYNEXTDOOR at his alma mater. Eventually, White was invited to open for BIG K.R.I.T. on tour. But things took a turn for the worst.

White had an on-and-off relationship with his father since childhood and hadn’t seen him in at least five months, but on March 15, 2016, he decided to visit him in hopes of making things right.

Once he drove to his father’s house to squash the beef, White noticed that his father looked different. His father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had started chemotherapy since the last time White had seen him.


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Afterward, White sped off without his father seeing him, pushed his feelings to the side and went to perform his show at The Foundry at Fillmore in Philadelphia, as planned. Although he took a short-lived hiatus, White came back with a bang.

His new debut album’s name, Keep In Touch plays as an ode towards this phenomenal figure.

Like his previous work, Keep In Touch shows the wit he upholds. As a whole, White’s project takes the bad with the good and celebrates his ongoing growth. Granted that White isn’t afraid to admit his faults, he creates a common ground between himself and those who listen.

In terms of the sound, Keep In Touch is an amalgamation of soul, jazz, and hip-hop. Rather than carrying a melancholic tone, Keep In Touch opts for one more upbeat. By nature, White’s chipper energy is infectious and by the time Keep In Touch is over, you’ll find yourself in a great mood.

The first track “Onederful,” celebrates all that life has to offer. Since the age of time. White has overcome every hurdle thrown his way and “Onederful” highlights some of those specific moments. The song’s backstory stems from a time when White had a creative block.

And ultimately it was his niece who helped him break out of it. According to Billboard, his niece came in to have her uncle fix her toy, as five-year-olds do, then she started singing, “This my type of day, my type of day, my type of day-ay-ay!”

And just like that, the catchy hook for “Onederful” was born. He says that the song came together like a perfect accident.

Next, White spent months fine-tuning it to perfection. In an interview with REVOLT, White recalled a time when he lost access to the studio. ” We even lost access to the studio we were using in the middle of the process of making the song and had to sneak in late at night to record the choirs and drums.” He added,

“Every time I listen to it now, it revitalizes that energy of rebirth for me as an artist and a lifts my soul and smile.”

To put it further, “Onederful” is a feel-good track, full of instrumentation that triumphs at White’s triumphs. It really plays on the idea of being a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.

Notable lyrics:

“24/7 ain’t come from a day job, But fuck it we lucky to wake up.” and “I ain’t socials on them networks! Till my social is my net worth!” shows how grateful White is.

The soundscape is draped with vigorous trumpets, which seems to be a laser progression and a booming bassline. From the very start, White has fun with his cadence. Dragging his words in a playful demeanor, White proves that life’s too short to not enjoy it.

Amid blaring trumpets, admiration from others, soulful croons, and a booming 808, “2maro” goes on to say that White did the damn thing!

Surprisingly enough, White even gets some leeway. With every break in the beat, he makes sure to spit vigorously, let the drums roll and in turn, the “Flip” rapper leaves fans tongue-twisted between syllables and his enunciation. But, it wasn’t always this way. Spending habits came with a price.

One that emptied his pockets and left him scrambling for more change. White’s bridge in “2maro” emphasizes this point, “I need a job, I need a ride, said I need patience/My priorities to need straightening a bit/Still ain’t handle my car note/Still ain’t cancel my card though.”

These lines go to say that at a certain time, White spent money on things he wanted rather than needed.


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Miss3d Calls” starts with different monologues, some could even assume that they’re historical. Then, this minute-long interlude transitions into a soulful vibe that meshes light vocal riffs with tranquil cymbals.

As “Miss3d Calls” continues, listeners can hear White’s greeting for his voicemail box and the many messages that come in after the beep. Towards the end, a tape recorder can be heard and “Miss3d Calls” transitions smoothly into the next track.

To Complex, White unveiled that “Public School” was themed with the clash of a careless spirit and it’s neglected responsibilities. And when I say this track executed his concept perfectly, I’m not bluffing. Not only does the soundscape bring out a line of bright xylophone riffs and booming bass.

But it also comes with a bouncy vibe and gets listeners in-tune with his pen game. Take, for instance, this line. It shows that White exceeds in hip-hop’s true element.

“So many things on the table I need to relax — my niggas eating though/So many shooters in that booth be booming on tracks — Not when we linking though.”

It displays a relatable side to others and the true colors of those who try to be something their not. “Public School” really plays on its title.

When you get an earful, you’ll hear White’s blunt, fun rhymes go from 0 to 100. Another notable piece of this track can be found at the 1:59 mark. Here, you’ll hear deep, soulful hums.

In “Black Oak Park,” White taps into his vocality and leaves listeners mesmerized from the very, first note. Surprisingly, White transitions from his rapping state to a soft, singing one and it’s safe to say that he’s complex by nature.

Through his mesmerizing delivery, White tells an enchanting love story based in the park between his mother and father’s home growing up. For instance, his first verse elaborates on this concept,

“The sky looks closer with you on my shoulders/What was life before they clipped your wings/Head harder than my liquor when I fell for ya/But this time love there ain’t no in-between.”

Equally important, the beat itself makes this track sound like a dreamy, R&B ballad.

Saywhaat//Long Car Ride” is a song that White often performs onstage during intimate moments with fans. Every so often, the West Philly brings out a soulful vocalist and in turn, crowds worldwide find themselves singing along. Instead of just hearing the words, you feel them.

And somehow, you take that warm, secure feeling home.

In a word, this is, for sure, a bright, feel-good, playful love song filled with jazz-inspired instrumentation, snaps, skit-skats and oscillating flows that come in strongly.

After the listen, you’ll want to shoot your shot at the cutie nearby. “Long Car Ride” is a quarrel between two lovers, one of them is just not happy with how things are going. Then, it seeps into the next track.

Fortnights” carries a beach vibe full of echoey crooning and an acoustic guitar progression. At 0:47, however “Fortnights” adds more into its soundscape — a bellowing bass, electric guitar roars and drums that just go off in the best way!

White reminisces on times like this, “we smoke bowls in the backyard/And I would tell you my pipe dreams.”


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Regardless of what happens, White assures that he’ll ride for those who did for him way back when. Amid the fame, he’ll always stay true to himself and people.

An example can be read in “White’s chorus for “Fortnights,” “Call me when you make it in I know you good nigga/I might just pull up in a crown I’m still a hood nigga/And you ain’t even gotta say I know what’s good witcha.”

As the track moves forward, you can hear soulful riffs, a subtle violin chord breaking from the white noise and scattered pattern of piano chords.

Lastly, “Thanksgiving” shows a reflective side of White. He spills over the track in a powerful, elaborate rap delivery and allows weight to fall off of his shoulders.

Over the light piano riffs, harmonic chants and 808, White gives listeners more insight on things he’s been through. As he reminisces the stormy days, White sheds light on his gratefulness for being where he is now.

It’s chorus even says, “Look around us, look around us, son you finally got something to be proud of.” In means of showing that days might be numbered but it still counted.

Towards the end, “Thanksgiving” lets a violin cry out. Overall this track shows others that there is beauty in the struggle.


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Ta-Ra’s album ‘RARE 1’ is the sonic experience we’ve been searching for

Last year, on May 23, TA-RA posted another flawless selfie with the caption “Solar System Angel.” Little did she know that this caption would be the forefront of her latest 10-tracked album, RARE 1.

Sonically soothing to the ears and a confidence booster, TA-RA’s RARE 1 takes a futuristic approach to the R&B scene.


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★☆✰✪✯……….:.Solar System Angel ⛓⚙️🛰🌌

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Her glittery, trance-like vocals and different studs of production seem to make listeners starry-eyed. It’d be no surprise if the Billboards chose to “make it go gold, make it go far.”

Nevertheless, Ta-Ra knows what she brings to the table and this album just proves that.

“This project is really about affirming oneself by understanding that through myself I am everything else and that every living being is rare and needed,” said Ta-Ra.

From time to time the French singer even uses Japan’s notable economic growth to drive her sound. But even so, the album artwork speaks volumes for Ta-Ra. Its special effects look three dimensional. Additionally, specks of purple, grey, and green are used to portray her as the universe.


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#RARE1 ©️📂OUT February 22 / Cover by @tuaregshawty + @laura_ma_ + @hologramedias + Clement D.S

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Still, she thanks her lucky stars for being an entity. Without them and music, Ta-Ra would feel alienated. RARE 1 starts off with a track that’s sure to “work ya body” called “Avatar.”

Deriving from Japanese roots — the track uses a flute and faint glass ping effect to capture its essence. To keep it even more trill, Ta-Ra even adds in a drum kit to propel the message further.

To me, this track would be a great addition to the movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera’s soundtrack. Essentially “Avatar” is seductive by nature but she’s not wailing like Beyoncé to Mekhi Phifer, “C’mon and touch me D. I know you want to.”

Instead, Ta-Ra shuts out those scumbags and gives a word of advice.

“Where you at? That’s what I get the most, I’m lowkey/You wanna tell the world the motion, take it slow emotion/I’m excited when it’s getting crucial/If you wanna ride you better get a purpose.”

The second track, “Spyro,” fits its name. From its echo sound wave to the scattered synths and looped piano, the production remains elusive.

You’d think that Ta-Ra was referring to one who schemes on obtaining information yet the R&B singer is comparing herself to Spyro, the dragon from the timeless PlayStation video game.

“I’m a pyroman, Spyro baby/ Throwing tantrums, throw a flame/Got volcanos in my brain/Young shawty.”

In the gist of things, “Spyro” has a combative yet sneaky appeal. Ta-Ra doesn’t trust anyone. They’re just way too envious.

“Swear these witches do not want me at the top/ I made ways all I do touch turn into gold/Planet Earth called saying that you was a hoe/I’m so high we different, I’m an astronaut/Capricorn, you fuck with me cause I’m the goat.”

Driving a spacious Japanese sound once again the third track “5star” uses an elevated UFO sound effect, woodwinds, and organ chords whilst referring herself to “a scientist alchemist” or “the biggest mistake of all of her exes.”

Here, Ta-Ra is boasting her realness.

“I’m real until my death, I could never fake it, ouh.”

Still, what stands out from the very beginning is that reference, the one her Insta followers know and love — “Solar system angel, I am flying on a comet.”

Not missing a beat, “Nebulas” rolls in as the fourth track on Rare 1. She struts her stuff from the very beginning. “Proving this, Nebulas” starts off with a vintage “walking down the runway” sound and synth keyboard that seems to dance around.

As Ta-Ra croons soothingly “I’m on a call with you. If you with it shawty. I’m finna die with you. As long as you ride my sky is blue.” The listener thinks of their own undying love for their friends as well. The purpose of this song is for Ta-Ra to show her devotion to the real ones.

“If you homie you my family.”

Pleasantly the fifth track, “Falcon7” starts off with an out of tune guitar riff that finds its way to our reward circuit. From there the track just keeps getting better — easing in with snares and a low piano chord.

As Ta-Ra allows herself to be vulnerable, she speaks on how her heart is just way too big. Despite being done dirty, she manages to clean it up with forgiveness but now she’s questioning her motives from now on.

Fool her once shame on you, fool her twice ‘can only put the blame on you. Simple.

“My love for you is a constant intake/I keep on going and going for them/I’m about to go off ’cause they abusing it/Oh, I am all of your call/Falcon high, vision installed/Them no high, vision is low/My love for you is inevitable.”

“Talking to the stars and sky alone” the sixth track “Nymph” speaks on a future love she just can’t seem to get out of her head. Although she has yet to meet him, Ta-Ra hopes he’ll come soon.

While the xylophone and hi-hats bang in, Nymph creates a nostalgic atmosphere. As we make a wish, we beg for “the one”.

“Hello, hello, hello…../I’d love to meet you/Where the f*ck is you/Is you right and how you do/Waiting on you/Every moon/I been looking like a fool.”

For RARE 1’s seventh track, “OG Love Key,” Ta-Ra uses 808s, a drone sound effect, and dream-ridden vocals. Thus, taking us to another level.

Hesitant about giving her all to a new love, Ta-Ra professes how she’s feeling and even if it’s tough, she’s willing to try because she is really fond of him.

“Swimming in your waters I don’t care about your sharks/I give love to you/It’s tough/I’m about to lose it ‘cause I need that OG love.”

More of a pop-ish song, the eighth track “Exit” features Vroskiii. Additionally, Ta-Ra slides in some rhymes. It merely has a futuristic vibe with its looped synths & reverbs.

Still, the song comes with a powerful message. They speak for others out there who have a similar feeling and are looking for a way out.

“Tryna find a way out/See the kids up in my city/Shanghai Tokyo and in Paris/All they tryna do/Is tryna find a way out.”

In the same fashion, Vroskiii expresses how he’s going to continue doing him. All in all, society can’t keep him chained. He’s breaking free. “Tired of those wanting a piece of me. I’m doing me doing what I want…”

As the ninth track, “VenusFlower” lays out a beautiful harp, a scale of futuristic sound effects and 808s. Ta-Ra adds to the calm aura with her soft vocality. Alas, she’s ”planting all the seeds of all her love into his garden” and is ready to “ride down the coast where he likes to fly.”

When she hits those high notes in the same manner, you feel warm and enthralled. As the quote goes, “Pressure makes diamonds.”

Lastly, the tenth track “NorthStar” speaks on how “she’s on level 50 in the building.” I am unsure if this song’s purpose is to speak on independence or finding love but nevertheless the core of it is discovery.

“Got the space and time/You rolling with a dime/Brain cells getting so overloaded Northstar/Got me on my path/I’m rocking with it/Got my Northstar I been wishing/Praying for a second/With it.”

In the background expect to hear a sci-fi machinery loop coupled with a dagger of synths. As for her vocals, the repetitive verses just bring you back to earth. It’s a track that makes you do some reflection.

To put in words — RARE 1 will have you over the moon. It’s a timeless piece of work and will never depreciate in value.

For RARE 1, Ta-Ra went beyond the realms of conscience. We might not be Martian’s but we are so similar that it’s almost unimaginable. Like Ta-Ra says in “Avatar,” “If they know the way to power we on something much louder.”

If you are curious, stream Ta-Ra’s entire album below via this audiovisual experience.

Anderson .Paak’s new album ‘Ventura’ is unifying and funky

Rewinding the hands of time — Anderson .Paak gives us that “automatic, supersonic, hypnotic, funky fresh” sound we seemingly love in his latest album Ventura.

With this in mind, you’d think that Ventura and Malibu’s sound are alike but they aren’t. Malibu was more personable. Ventura speaks on unity.


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It’s a given that most will get up on the dance floor while listening to this nostalgic piece. Still, Anderson .Paak furnished features from icons Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, Jasmine Sullivan, Sonyae Elise, Brandy, and Nate Dogg to keep us on our toes.

In the same way, Ventura does the same with its subgenres like soul, disco, and alternative R&B. Still, the main thing for keeps on each track is Anderson’s distinctive husky vocal pattern.

It just “begs you to come home” and at once you’re in your younger years, at your local rink or at the jukebox slow dancing with a cutie.

This groovy 11-track collective starts off with “Come Home” featuring Andre 3000. Pleading for a reconciliation with his true love, Anderson .Paak thinks they should stop playing the blame game because “all of the signs are brightly drawn” and point back to her open arms.

The Motown inspired production also gives Anderson .Paak and Andre 3000 some leeway to take the song in many directions (the guitar riffs, piano’s low/high register to the kick drum and even the flute.) Yet the matter at hand forces them to stick with what they’ve got.

Right after Anderson.Paak says his piece, Andre 3000 goes in with his internal rhyming style — giving his love something to chew on. For the listeners worldwide, how’s that for food of thought?

“We fightin’, we might need counseling, possibly more-so me, Sounds to me frowns’ll be grounds to leave, Hounds’ll be lookin’ for you before you drop a tear.”

The second track, “Make it Better” featuring Smokey Robinson oozes with a refined version of 70s soul. As Anderson .Paak uses his honeyed voice simultaneously with Smokey Robinson — you can’t help but think that Paak’s gotten some pointers from the legend!

Like, “Come Home,” Anderson .Paak sings about mending his relationship. Although it seems difficult, he knows that together things could get easier if they just keep on trying but she will need convincing.

“Somehow, we fell in love, then fell right out of touch. And ooh, that was hard. But ooh, here we are. And it’s easier to walk away. Then to look for what would make you stay.“

Their crooning is followed by dynamic guitar riffs, the famous kick-drum & a projectile violin.

“Reachin’ 2 Much” featuring Laila Hathaway reaches for a medium and it does an exceptional job. From the organ chords and bass drum to the horns, claps & futuristic sound effects — this two-part track perfectly expresses how disco & funk should sound.

As Anderson .Paak tries to figure out if the girl he’s speaking about is on the same page, Laila backs him up with her trancelike harmony & scatts.

“I see you too much, baby, I need to (Take some space)/You kiss me too much, baby, forgot to (Wipe my face)/I treat you too much, baby, why don’t you (Ever pay?) I think you’re too much, baby, I need to (Pump my brakes)/(I think I’m doin’ way too much, I)/How can one thing mean so much to you and (So little to me?)/You stay here too much, baby, you know it’s (Not your place)/You’re sniffin’ too much, baby, I had to (Hide my yay’)”.

This song perfectly describes what it’d be like if someone had a friend with benefits & the friend wanted more than benefits.

The fourth track, “Winner Circle” goes for a Musiq Soulchild vibe, blending jazz with hip-hop. Most of his life Anderson .Paak has played his cards and versatile rhymes right, but he’s also played the roles of the women who’ve given him attention.

Still, there’s this one girl.. one girl who’s different from the rest.

“They gon’ have to come for me/Came out my comfort zone to be your missing company/Somethin’ about the way you never gave it up to me/But let me know that I can get it any day of the week.”

By the fifth track, “Good Heels” featuring Jazmine Sullivan, Anderson .Paak goes back to his player ways.

Singing from two perspectives, Paak finds himself in a sticky situation when his side chick leaves her keys and clothes in his house, but with his girl on the way, he can’t risk letting her in through the door. His greatest vice for her,

“Pull up, uh, the fire escape, uh Open up the window, get your little thangs/Get your little keys, get your little rings/Just free in the wind, though, before she see your face.”

More liberated than ever in the sixth track — “Yada Yada” keeps the funk going! Anderson .Paak speaks about how grateful he is to be where he’s at now because things weren’t so grand before.

He goes from rapping to singing and it just goes to show why he’s here, to begin with.

“When the dreams become reality (It could be)/ It’s hard to keep a smile off the mug (Look at me)/Label tried to play me like I didn’t do all the work/I found another way through the open gate and my purpose/Now I’m goin’ crazy like (Right).”

Keeping the same energy the seventh track, “King James” pays its respect to Lebron James for standing up for his people.

Though it is admirable, Paak charges them to do the same. Check these lyrics,

“And we salute King James for using his change/To create some equal opportunities/Cold stares can never put the fear in me/There’s a movement we’ve been groovin’ on/You can move or stay your ass asleep/Let’s just not talk about it/Everything they tried to hide/We’re taking back for yours and mine. Out of everything that the production brings, the whistle blows makes the message stick out like a sore thumb.”

“Chosen One” off of Ventura uses a sped-up sample of “On The Level” by Mac Demarco in the first piece but then expands on its own with a snare drum, trickled piano chords and low guitar riff at hand.

In this track Anderson .Paak speaks about finding a girl who loves him for him instead of his fame.

“Who gon’ love me and touch me the right way/Need me a lil’ baby/Who gon’ run up and jump in the fight with me/Need me a lil’ lady/Who gon’ keep it buck like Milwaukee/Need me a lil’ lady.”

He adds some spice to the sugar talk is Sonyaè Elise, who uses a bit of sex appeal in her vocal play to accredit her loyalty.

We still want the funk and Anderson .Paak provides it (still) by track nine — “Jet Black” featuring Brandy. More refined with some R&B-ish crooning from Brandy, the song gives you that “good lovin’” feeling.

To put it in words, Anderson .Paak and Brandy sing about how great their love is.

“We peakin’ hands above us/Feels like someone lifted me/We peakin’/Arms like lovers/Feels like someone sent for me (Sent for me, yeah)/We peakin’.”

It’s hard to zone out by Ventura’s tenth track, “Twilight” because of everything you hear. In midst of the bouncy bass line — you start to believe your ears are playing tricks because Paak starts to sound like Isaac Hayes but in reality, it’s still the multiverse artist.

Merely an ode to his love, he expresses how grateful he is to have her in his life.

“You’re my twilight when it’s awfully dark and I lost my way/ ‘Cause when my life feels off the mark, you put me back in place.”

Last but not least, Ventura‘s last track “What Can We Do?” features savored, archived vocals from Nate Dogg.

The album doesn’t contain more tracks so…what can we do? All jokes aside — in this song Paak is trying to figure out what to do next after the end of his relationship. But so far he’s got nothing.

“Cause my love went wrong/Yeah, another bag and she’ll love me in the morn’/While the bubble over stove/As I was dreaming of a bag, then I woke/You were starting to snore, wake your ass up/Layin’ in a bed full of cash/You slowly rolled over and whispered back to me/ “That’s just the way things have to be.”

The production resembles G-Funk. Despite what Paak’s going through in this song, he’s still illmatic and funkadelic. On the real, like its name, Ventura gives off feel-good vibes.

At best it’s an eccentric mix that hones in on Anderson .Paak’s skill. He’s come a long way from those open mics at Leimert and he’s on the point of no return. Slowly but surely, Ventura will continue making its mark.

Peep the entire album for yourself below. Ventura is a great listen.

Wavves stay true to roots on ‘You’re Welcome’, released on own label

Over the last decade, Wavves have risen to the top of the pop-punk pyramid.

Wavves first burst onto the scene with Wavves and Wavvvves, released in 2008 and 2009 respectively. These first two releases were recorded by frontman Nathan Williams by himself in his mom’s garage.

That’s pretty evident when listening to Wavves and Wavvvves, they are exemplary lo-fi records. Williams combined his lo-fi sound with surf-rock elements, often humming or “la la la”-ing over his own vocals, creating a fun dichotomy between surf rock and lo-fi noise rock, and fashioning his own unique sound.

If the Beach Boys made punk slacker rock it would sound exactly like Wavves.

After releasing Wavvvves, Williams suddenly became an indie darling and all of the relevant blogs and music festivals came calling.

Williams hired drummer Ryan Ulsh, was booked for a massive European tour, and took off from his mom’s garage, destined for punk rock stardom

What happened was kind of what you would expect from an early 20’s kid who stumbled into sudden fame.

At the 2009 Primavera Sound Festival, Williams took a whole bunch of drugs, bugged out on his drummer, and began berating the crowd, who then started launching bottles at him.

Ulsh walked away after the incident, with Williams taking a pretty intense backlash with headlines like “Wavves Self Destruct in Barcelona” and “Wavves Meltdown in Spain” from Pitchfork and Stereogum.

In an interview with Pitchfork after the whole Barcelona debacle, it’s clear Williams felt pretty bad about what happened, most notably the frayed relationship with Ulsh, but also how quickly he became over-exposed.

He told Pitchfork,

“Yeah, it’s just weird. I feel like people forget sometimes that I’ve only been doing Wavves live for four months, and it’s picked up to this point so quickly. I never expected to have this type of exposure, and I never expected to be doing these things. I think maybe it all hit me, and it’s just kind of a lot to process so quickly. I don’t know.”

Williams cancelled his European tour, the burden of the pressure clearly weighing on him,

“In the end, the whole reason I left… it got to a point where it became so stressful and there were so many people whispering in my ear. It just got so big so quickly. I think maybe I realized it, and it freaked me out a little bit. Obviously, I handled it in the worst way possible, but it was just… I don’t know.”

In that interview it seems like Williams is pretty disillusioned, especially with the interference of money and business suddenly having an impact on his art,

“It’s weird because it’s kind of like a personal thing, and then these business-y things are all kind of tangled in it. It’s weird to say when it is fun and when it isn’t fun. And if it isn’t fun, I guess I shouldn’t really be doing it anymore. But I do love doing it, and it is fun. But with every good, there is a bad part of it.”

In the space of a couple months, Nathan Williams went from holing up in his mom’s garage with a bunch of weed and recording records for fun, to magazine covers, to a European tour, to then facing backlash from the music world for getting too drunk on stage.

Sudden pressure and fame had clearly gotten to Williams, but ever since this chaotic period, Wavves have been shockingly stable and consistent.

With the late Jay Reatard’s band members bassist Stephen Pope and drummer Alex Gates, Wavves went on to make a great pop-rock record with King of the Beach, cementing the group as a legitimate figure in a genre that was thinning out and badly in need of some direction.

King of the Beach has a much bigger and clearer sound than anything Wavves had done previously. King was the first Wavves project recorded in an actual studio at Fat Possum Records, stripped of the lo-fi purity of the earlier records.

King of the Beach showed Wavves had more versatility as a band, beyond the hazy confines of Williams’ mom’s garage.

After a couple of smaller releases, including the LP Life Sux in 2011, Wavves kept dropping fun, cool alternative rock, never changing too much from the style initiated on King of the Beach, but always changing up the approach slightly and never exactly replicating their formula.

The sound got bigger, less surfer-rocky, more grungy, culminating in 2013’s Afraid of Heights, which was a perfectly good album, but problems with the bands’ new label, Warner Bros., caused friction with the release.

Then 2015’s V came off the back of a personal breakup and heightened tensions with the label.

After the release of V, which Pitchfork wrote “sounded like a hangover”, Wavves left Warner Bros. and issued a pretty damning press release, calling out major labels’ treatment of smaller bands that aren’t “cash cows”.

An excerpt from Williams’ statement shows just how catastrophic Wavves’ experience with Warner Bros. was. Williams wrote,

“I’d never come in contact with such a poorly run company in my life. It was anarchy. Nobody knew what they were doing. Turnover rate was like an American Apparel. It was really all cons—unless you’re a cash cow. For everyone else, major labels can’t help you. Maybe at one time they could, but that time is dead.”

For all the venom in this statement, Williams and Wavves backed up their talk, starting Ghost Ramp, a record label where Williams can release Wavves music, Sweet Valley, an instrumental duo consisting of Williams and his brother, and a growing list of artists, including Cloud Nothings.

According to their website, Ghost Ramp “specializes in a diverse roster that also includes a large emphasis on video game soundtracks.”

Wavves have taken matters into their own hands, releasing their music on their own terms on their own label, releasing the band’s new album, You’re Welcome on the label.

As Afraid of Heights and V seemed to dip into the melancholic, You’re Welcome sees Wavves back to their carefree punky best. On this album Williams is singing about how cold his winter house is and drinking lemonade by the pool, as opposed to the more nihilistic material of his previous couple releases.

This record feels closer to King of the Beach than V, there’s a return to the lo-fi, albeit not close to that of Wavves or Wavvvves. “Daisy”, “You’re Welcome”, and “No Shade” are head-bopping pop-punk at its best.

“I Love You” is a wonderfully-written song about cali luv that sounds like something out of Weezer’s early discography (the two W-loving groups collaborated on a song last year).

While the sound is familiar, the techniques used on You’re Welcome are a little different. There’s some sampling, more synthesizers, and drum machine-sounding drums.

Despite all the chaos of his earlier career, Williams has found some success and satisfaction over the years, becoming a sort of standard bearer for rock bands over the last decade.

In a genre that devours and spits out any exciting new talent, leaving a sprawling wasteland of bands that never followed up their first album or succumbed to drugs and alcohol, Wavves have survived the alt-rock gauntlet.

Grab a cold one, pull up to a body of water, and rock out to You’re Welcome this summer.