The Wave Pictures – Brushes With Happiness

Gloomy in the wind

Ironically enough, the nice guys from The Wave Pictures bring us the brand new and rather melancholic album titled ‘Brushes With Happiness’ out tomorrow Friday 22nd June, under the wings of Moshi Moshi. Don’t be misled by the title then. Expect a bunch of songs that will very likely break your heart. But it is worth it.

There are no punk-length tracks either. Most of the songs exceed the 5-minute-panic in-the-radio-length, leading you into a certain resigned, dark aura that goes up to 6 or 7 minutes. That could be explained by the fact that they have recorded the whole album in one single, minor-key day. They have been there already, as they also recorded the acoustic album ‘A Season in Hull’ (2016) in a very prolific January day. “We recorded this album live in a small room, playing music into the wee hours. Listening to the album feels like being in a ceremony”, reveals guitarist and songwriter Dave Tattersall, who’s perfectly joined by Jonny Helm (drums) and Franic Rozycki (bass) in this intimate rite. The lyrics were written in advance, “but the music was an improvisation”. Thus, the result can’t be other than a spontaneous and brutally honest album. “I cannot help how I feel”, Tattersall opens up. If you really love music from the guts, then you’ll join this ethereal, yet so earthly ceremony.

‘The Red Suitcase’, inspired by the great musician Django Reinhardt, sounds pretty depressing as it seems there’s no hope at all. Take the final moan: just heart-wrenching. Slowly by slowly –“invisibly slowly”-, ‘Rise Up’ is the perfect tune to come apart with superb elegance, with that exquisite violin touch. “I don’t care about what you own me, as you open your jacket to the afternoon…”. One of the many virtues of this band from Wymeswold lies in their pure-gold-songwriting. You can easily relate to the extraordinary pictures of common emotions and day-to-day disappointments.
Smooth and silent blues ‘Jim’ –poor him, he got cursed in the kitchen-, which matches the genuine sound of the band; as sweet as sharp. So is ‘Laces’, disturbingly reassuring. Hats-off to ‘The Little Window’, with those Patti Smithesque vocals. Raw and temperate, there’s something breathtaking in its pure simplicity. Yet, you just have to listen to the lyrics to realise that nothing is that simple.
Piercing guitar in ‘Crow Jane’; church bells and country sounds for ‘Volcano’; 100% The Wave Pictures style in ‘The Burnt Match’ litany: “Something to be learned from this burnt match”… Poignant voices, some tearful choruses. Dave Tattersall invokes Jonathan Richman so much, yet he’s so unique. And what about ‘Brushes With Happiness’? Well, take that Fight Club movie scene where Tyler Durden chemically burns poor Jack’s hand. “This is your pain”. Focus. And it hurts. It really does. But hey, that’s ok. You still have coffee and cigarettes. Good music. Life. So, keep going. Despite all the odds.

The band seems against any current wave or hype. So blue for the Summer, and by the Fall of bright and warm days -cause there’s must be a Summer somewhere-; they’ll come back with “a more up-beat party” album, Look Inside Your Heart, due on October. So, first they tear us apart and later they’ll cheer us up. Fair enough, right? How on earth couldn’t you just love these guys?

Remaining tour dates at time of publishing, be quick…
22 November – LONDON – KOKO

Release Date 22nd June 2018 (Moshi Moshi Records)

The Wave Pictures Official | Facebook | Twitter


Amaia Santana

Good karma brought me here to Manchester, my second home, where you can stay healthy (despite the weather) and young forever, as you can breathe live music in every corner of the city. I do believe in the healing power of music (rock is my life vest) and I'd be so glad to share my passion with you rockers of the world!