There are worse places in the world to be making music than sunny Madrid, and the emergence of bands such as Hinds and The Parrots from the city’s vibrant scene has turned heads all over the world. The next band set to follow in their footsteps are Baywaves, who came together from across Spain and Argentina and started making music in the city about three years ago. For fans of Allah-Las, Tame Impala and Mild High Club, Baywaves capture the soft vocals and irresistibly shimmering riffs of blissed out psychedelia, served with a twist of Spanish charm.
As Clash chat to the band’s drummer Marco Lobera, he explains that the band are still finding their identity, despite the label of ‘hipnopop’ they’ve given their music so far; “we love pop and we love ethereal sounds from a psychedelic feeling for the audience, so it was a mix of both feelings”.
Despite the hypnotic twangs, synths and reverb that could corner Baywaves into the genre of psychedelia, they’re more than aware of how important a pop chorus and melody are in giving songs instant appeal: “We don’t even like proper psychedelic music because it’s like… really long songs which are progressing all the time so, you know, we like that pop-like feeling that when you listen to a song for ten or twenty seconds you have it on your mind all night.”
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The band have already proven this hipnopop formula on their debut EP. 2016’s ‘Only For Uz’ is bursting with catchy riffs and unrelenting foot-tappers, with lead track ‘Time Is Passing U By’ striking the perfect balance between killer riffs and a huge chorus. The EP was mixed by Joe Walker of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and after realising they had something special going on, Baywaves have begun to focus more on production and honing their sound. Their most recent singles ‘Down 4 U’ and ‘Gliss’ were “the first songs we started to write together and to write thinking about what we were doing and how we were wanting to sound”; doing so has cemented their next steps as very promising ones.
These steps are taken with greater emphasis placed on them because Baywaves are the product of a flourishing scene in Spain’s capital city that has seen bands break out of it and tour the world in recent years. Lobera praises these bands’ “ambition to go out and play and make a name for yourselves in the music industry in the UK or the United States”.
“It’s so so great because it produces you like, a pass to do things and it’s so good that in Spain for the bands that are coming through. It’s starting to pay off like a lot of young bands are starting to sound better… I think it’s like a blessing for us in Spain”. When asked if there are any other Spanish bands we should keep an eye on, he recommends the weird and wonderful Alien Tango and Seville band Vera Fauna.
These Spanish bands like Hinds and The Parrots are infamous for riotous shows and having loads of fun when on tour, and a video of Baywaves recently playing London’s Mirrors Festival shows them getting the same energetic reaction, “maybe it’s that Latin vibe, we put some sexiness in things and maybe when we come to England people are used to English bands playing!”.
They spent the end of 2017 on tour around the UK and Europe, where Lobero says he felt people were grateful for them travelling abroad to play, and “because it’s different for us too, we have a van and we are touring around but in Spain it is more like you go to a city to play at the weekend… the thing we don’t like in the UK is the food, apart from that it’s perfect!"
He continues: "In England it’s difficult for us to find like proper good food, if you have enough money of course. We have to have a budget to eat and its shit! We ended up in Wetherspoons every day to have breakfast because it was really cheap”.
With or without my reassurance that Spoons is actually a British staple, it seems that Baywaves are ready to continue to be surprised by new things, and to embrace the milestone achievements that every band aspires to: “We are so excited because we are going to the United States in March to play SXSW for the first time… for us it’s amazing, it’s one of those teen dreams you have to play in the United States”.
Even if ten-minute psych-jams aren’t really Baywaves’ thing, you can still hear the sunshine bouncing off every note of their jangling pop melodies. They certainly seem to be doing something right; having spent two weeks holed away in the countryside in northern Spain this summer recording more music, the band are armed, ready and excited to take on 2018.
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Words: Katie Pilbeam
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