Rid­ing the wave

For their sopho­more al­bum, the Wind and the Wave got a lit­tle help from a friend.

Metro USA (New York) - - Music - RACHEL RACZKA @rachel­raczka rachel.raczka@metro.us

Austin duo the Wind and the Wave charmed crit­ics and fans alike with their 2014 de­but “From the Wreck­age.” Vo­cal­ist Patty Lynn Drew and pro­duc­er­gui­tarist Dwight A. Baker are best friends who just en­joy mak­ing re­ally, re­ally good mu­sic, and it’s ut­terly re­fresh­ing.

For their sec­ond al­bum, Baker handed over the pro­duc­tion reigns to Butch Walker, a new ex­pe­ri­ence for both he and Drew, who had never recorded with some­one else be­fore. The re­sult be­ing “Hap­pi­ness is Not a Place,” their sopho­more LP un­der a new la­bel (they hopped from RCA to Is­land last year) and a poppy first sin­gle, “Grand Canyon,” a rap­tur­ous toe-tapping depar­ture from their in­die folk roots. Baker calls in from a break from the stu­dio to dis­cuss the new sin­gle, work­ing with Walker and his per­sonal “Grand Canyon.”

Tell me about “Grand Canyon.” What’s the moral of the story?

That one in par­tic­u­lar is about [Patty] and her brother be­ing in a hor­ri­ble car ac­ci­dent, and a coma on the eve of our first record com­ing out. I feel on a deeper way, it’s about not tak­ing for granted the mo­ments that you’re given. Go see the amaz­ing things.

Is that a self-serv­ing mantra, too?

That’s mainly where the song comes from. Patty is a 28-year-old her­mit who has a soul of a 60-year-old, and I’ve had the soul of a 60-year-old since I was 6. We just want to eat mac­a­roni and cheese and chill, but you’ve got to force your­self to go out. See the sights.

What’s on your bucket list? What’s your per­sonal “Grand Canyon”?

Well I’m fas­ci­nated by his­tory, and I’d love to see some of the things that are im­pos­si­ble now. Things in Iraq and Egypt, where I don’t think things would go very well for me and my gi­ant Nordic ass. I love cities like Lon­don and Madrid and Paris and Van­cou­ver, where it’s more about find­ing the foot­steps of how a country was founded. I’d like to walk those steps my­self.

What was it like work­ing with Butch Walker?

Butch is rad. He’s sim­i­lar to me. We chose him be­cause I went in af­ter mak­ing two records backto-back, and I was burned out. It was time to make a new al­bum for a new la­bel, and I had zero de­sire to go into the stu­dio, which is a bad place to start a record.

Butch turned out to be a good choice be­cause he had just done [his own] al­bum with Ryan Adams, and it was the first he [didn’t pro­duce him­self] in 20 years. Butch was some­one who knew what it was like be­ing “the guy,” but then have to deal with some­one new. He knew when to be bru­tal and when to be un­der­stand­ing.


The Wind and the Wave will join Butch Walker in Brook­lyn and NYC.

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