Having proven himself as a master songwriter through a series of EPs over the last few years, Day Wave aka Jackson Phillips has now undertaken the biggest milestone of his career so far, his highly-anticipated debut album 'The Days We Had'. And while the frontman may like to convey the image of a solo performer, his first full-length shows that not only is he a competent songwriter but also able to front a fully-formed band with great confidence.
To listen to 'The Days We Had' and not pay much attention to it, you would think that Phillips was part of an 80s indie band, what with the synth-led 'Ordinary' and pounding rhythm of 'Something Here' on here. It is clear that Day Wave has taken a lot of inspiration from the bands of this era, mainly the shoegaze and post-punk sound. Yet despite its nostalgic undertones, 'The Days We Had' still feels like a fresh listen, and aims to display the ideas of taking familiar inspirations and combining them into a contemporary style.
Day Wave certainly feels like more than just a one-man-band. There is a consistency to his direction, but still manages to take us on a journey of exploration from time to time. It is this ebb and flow to the pace of the record that keeps it from becoming stale, and shows Phillips as a curator of one fine studio album.