… and you’re sitting, well, not on top of the world, but somewhere – interesting. Since 2004 California’s Rogue Wave have been releasing albums that tweak and redirect that state’s peculiar dream-state, inviting a melancholy re-assessment of life and the act of living it. Their 2005 single “Publish My Love” stood out from the pack of bands peddling acoustic-guitar based, pleasant-sounding pop songs for its starkly original sound: all the classic poprock motifs were there but somehow Rogue Wave put it together in a distinctive way.
Throughout their career the band has riffed on a number of key elements, rebalancing the mix through different albums and songs. “Nourishment Nation” from 2004’s Out of the Shadow leans on acoustic guitars up front, with other keyboards popping in here and there to push the song in different directions. “Salesmen at the Day of the Parade” from 2005’s Descended Like Vultures is a straightforward, somber, acoustic guitar ballad. “Lake Michigan” from 2007’s Asleep at Heaven’s Gate is a sonically brilliant pop tune, resting on a bed of highly original percussion.
“Solitary Gun” from 2010’s Permalight could slip easily on to your favourite Shins’ album with all the requisite acoustic guitar swing and pop hooks. “College” from 2013’s Nightingale Floors is classic Rogue Wave: chiming guitars, churning percussion, and a hummable tune.
Their new release is the whimsically-titled Delusions of Grand Fur and it reproduces all that the band excels at: highly textured production, a solid bed of acoustic guitars, creative instrumentation, and catchy tunes made more interesting by inventive vocal and percussion arrangements. Highlights include “In the Morning,” “Look at Me,” and the stunning, stand-out single, “California Bride” with its shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals.