Crush Songs: Day Wave talks through his new EP

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

Crush Songs: Day Wave talks through his new EP

Hey Jackson! Hope you’re surviving under lockdown okay. How have you been spending your time indoors?

I’ve been going back and forth between watching TV shows, recording songs, and trying to figure out what to cook. Every once in a while I’ll throw in a board game for good measure. 


You produced, mixed and mastered Crush all by yourself. Did you record the EP in a home studio? Can you tell us about some of the gear you used?

I recorded the four songs at my home studio. ‘Starting Again’, ‘Potions’ and ‘Empty’ were the last three songs I wrote in my Echo Park house. When I moved to Los Feliz, ‘Crush’ was the first song I wrote and recorded in the new house. I bought an old Acrosonic piano on Craigslist and wrote ‘Crush’ the next day. As for the gear, I recorded almost everything through a crappy old dynamic microphone, into my Teac reel-to-reel. The final result ended up being so lo-fi that I had to go back and add some cleaner vocals!



Tell us about the ingredients of the Day Wave sound. Is there any particular technique, instrument or effect that you feel is distinctive to your sound?

I guess the simple recipe would be a tape machine, a Telecaster, a Juno 6 or 60 and spring reverbs. Oh and vocals!


In the past you’ve talked about moving to study jazz at Berklee, but becoming side-tracked and instead teaching yourself different instruments and how to make songs. What came first – the urge to be a producer, or the desire to be a multi-instrumentalist? Do you see a distinction between the two?

When I got to Berklee I started playing piano because I had tendonitis, and I couldn’t play drums. Somewhere during that time I had discovered producing, and that point I just wanted to record songs. I think learning more instruments came along with wanting to produce songs. 


Do you also think starting off as a drummer made it easier for you to understand how each instrument should interact uniquely in a recording?

It’s hard to say, but I know that playing in bands as a kid definitely helped me understand how different parts of a song should interact. I also think starting off on drums made my sense of timing much more precise, which is a huge part of playing any instrument. 


You’ve also helped produce music for Hazel English and Pete Yorn in the past. How does your songwriting and production approach vary when working with other artists?

When it comes to producing another artist, I try to tailor the approach to whatever makes them the most comfortable. So it was definitely a learning experience to be able to adapt to different work flows and creative styles. 


After Crush comes out, what’s next for Day Wave? Do you have much to work on?

The plan is to keep the music coming. I feel inspired to continue making Day Wave songs, so I’m gonna run with that for now!



Crush comes out Friday April 24 via I OH YOU/Liberator Music.