Dripping in re-worked pop-rock instrumentation, muted vocals and jangly guitars, San Francisco-based band Hot Flash Heat Wave are bringing a new sense of soul to their sound. Made up of Adam Abilgaard, Nick Duffy and Ted Davis, the band forged a bond after meeting at high school and playing in various bands, before expanding their horizons respectively across the state after graduating. Recognising their musical chemistry, Abilgaard and Duffy came back together in 2010, eventually bringing Davis into the mix forming the trio we know to this day.
Releasing their debut record Neapolitan in 2015, the band have continuously evolved their sound, expanding the boundaries of their genre and deepening their connection with their listeners. Dropping a second EP 'Soaked' in 2017, the band followed up with their most distinctive EP in 2019, 'Mood Ring', which broke down the quintessential type casting of the indie/rock genre, trickling in R&B and psychedelic hues, embossing their exclusive sound into the ears of the industry.
The highly anticipated upcoming album Sportswear which is set for release in March of this year, is a collection of tracks reflecting their lives, thoughts and stories they’ve heard along the way. Giving a glimpse of what to expect, the band reveal: “The album isn’t really meant for one time or place, but more geared toward the shifting moods and experiences of life. I think there’s room to listen passively to set a vibe, but also to hear it really intimately and relate and process through the spectrum of themes and emotions that we did as we wrote these songs, both high and low”.
The first single off the imminent album was 'Where I’m @' which explores “love, growth and the willingness to accept change”. Wrapped in a cylinder of synth-driven melodies and distorted production, the track began as just a selection of words and melodies recorded as a voice memo, before a jamming session developed it into the track you hear today.
Speaking on the most recent single, the band say: “'Bay Boys' is a biker gang allegory, the story of a wandering character who’s always seeking escape. The voice in the prechorus is like his conscience telling him he’s unfulfilled, but he’s idealised this life on the road and just keeps on running away. A particularly dark twist in a story I was reading left me in a heavy mood that inspired this song’s sort of ironic and a bit tragic 80s romance narrative”.
Hoping to establish a space for emotional liberation and bring colour to the greyscale of life’s darker moments, the band express: “I think these songs are our way of making sense of these last couple chaotic years. Each song copes with different facets of lives, ranging from mental health, resilience through togetherness, heartbreak, social commentary, and the infinite and liminal.
Hot Flash Heat Wave finish: “I think the story of the record at its core is about the struggle to transcend the things in life that break you down and the search for peace and belonging within yourself. In the end if we can be at peace with ourselves we can find the beauty and connection in life”.
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Words: Alexander Williams
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