Dallas used to be a breeding ground for great new music. During the last few years there has been a drought in this wellspring, possibly due to the deterioration of Deep Ellum. However, things might be on the ups for Dallas with a little band called Tree Wave. When Tripwire Chip handed me the CD I was very curious to check it out, and being that we are both former residents of the Texas metroplex I couldn't help but be excited.
The unique thing about Tree Wave is their instrumentation. While most bands are playing their bass guitars half assed, Tree Wave prefers to use old electronics to make their music. Tree Wave's gear consists of two Commodore 64 computers circa 1983 that run synthesizer software off a custom programmed cartridge, a 1977 Atari 2600 to generate beats, a 1986 Compaq Portable II (Dos 286 computer), and an Epson LQ500 dot matrix printer from 1985. This sounds like it could be a recipe for disaster, however the music that they create with these fixed up vintage electronics sounds like a weird cross between My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab, Aphex Twin, Postal Service and Radiohead. Lush, delicious and ripe for the picking.
The EP, consisting of duo Lauren Gray and Paul Slocum, starts off with a beat-tastic "May Banners" and quickly melts into "Machines Fall Apart," a track that showcases the best use of Lauren's dreamy vocals mixed in with shoegazer music. One of my favorite tracks is the swirling "Sleep," which you can download below. Songs like "Sleep" proves to me that there are people out there smart enough to figure out how to take a bunch of old stuff and reconfigure it into something amazing. "Instrumental 1b" is just that, an instrumental tune chock full of gamey sounding bloops and blips.
If this is what these guys can produce for a debut 25 minute EP, imagine the possibilities for a full length. Tree Wave gives us something new and refreshing. Noise pop at its finest, and a promising outlook for the future of Dallas music.