I often find myself attracted to bands that have unique names, names the evoke questions, that demand explanations. The Wind and The Wave is one of those bands that provokes curiosity upon hearing the name and provides you with even more after the music starts. This duo, consisting of Dwight Baker and Patricia Lynn, provides us with a mix of folk and indie rock that transcends both genres and dabbles in many others. With Baker’s on point musicianship and Lynn’s sparkling vocals, From The Wreckage is poised to get these two some serious attention.
From start to finish, this album sets out to paint a musical picture in all the shades of folk, indie rock, a little southern influence, and some psychadelic beats and absolutely nails it. This is a complete album without a single throwaway track, one that begs to be listened to in it entirety. From the first acoustic notes of “My Mama Said Be Careful Where You Lay Your Head” to the last a capella notes of “This House is a Hotel”, Lynn’s voice never misses and demands the attention it so rightly deserves.
“My Mama Said Be Careful Where You Lay Your Head” starts an album, full of ridiculously long titles, with a really fun, hand clapping, background oh’s, and prominent acoustic track that reads very much like a cliffnotes versions of someone’s life. “Now I’m looking for a place inside the city./ I haven’t told my mom and dad he’s coming with me./ But I’m in love and it’s for real I know./ I’m taking chances, throwing caution out the window.” The album’s second song, “From The Wreckage Build a Home,” is as close to a title track as we get. It’s a simple song about love and one filled with hope, despite the ominous tone of the music. “If our ship does sink we will follow it like stones,/ From the wreckage build a home…/ We’re built to last.”
One of the cool and interesting things about this album is that it doesn’t shy away from tactful swearing. Generally, in the genres that we cover, profanity is something rare, but here is used perfectly. It’s done sparingly and really does an excellent job at conveying the necessary meaning. “With My Own Hands”, as an example, is an angry song, repeatedly claiming “Fools will die alone.” But when Lynn first hits the chorus, she croons, “Oh you’re talking shit, but you ain’t saying nothing real,/ You got a knack for burning bridges down./ You point and shoot with no precision, quit your job for television,/ Now you’re fuckin’ me around.” It’s a different dynamic than we’re used to and it’s used in a phenomenal way. One the album’s best tracks, “The Heart It Beats The Thunder Rolls,” shows again how well used it is. “I ain’t waiting on no repo man, I ain’t looking for a sign,/ No, I don’t want a fucking picket fence,/ See, I just wanna make you mine.”
Lynn and Baker also show that they can do mellow, vocal driven songs better than most. Take “Every Other Sunday Morning,” a song that starts off with the line, “We’re losing faith in one another.” It’s a profoundly sad song, but it’s a flawless combination of music and lyrics. Perhaps the album’s best song is also a slower, lyrically driven song in “It’s a Longer Road to California Than I Thought.” (I wasn’t kidding about the titles.) It’s an enigmatic song that reads like a love song but is sung with a hint of sadness. It’s very much a song that will mean different things to each person that hears it.
The Wind and The Wave have created what has quickly become my favorite album this year. It’s an album packed with 11 stellar songs and shows that Baker and Lynn are capable of producing some powerful and beautiful music. If this is their debut, I’m eager to hear how they follow it up. And rest assured, eager or not, we’ll be hearing more from them.