The three-member South Korean band, wave to earth, has just released their latest album ‘0.1 flaws and all.’ The album has two sides, the A side having 8 tracks & the B side only having 6 tracks, with Daniel Kim on Guitar & Vocals, John Cha on Bass and Dong Q on the drums. They’re known for their indie-pop & jazz songs, heavily influenced by the lo-fi music wave. They even stated in an interview with Bandwagon Asia that the goal of their music is to get fans to listen in a chill and comfortable way, to reminisce about soothing and pleasant moments in their life. They released their first single, ‘wave,’ on August 23rd, 2019, and have consistently released since then. Although they’re a Korean band, a lot of their songs are mostly written and sung in English, with bits of Korean throughout their discography.
Upon the release of the album, the band released a documentary on the process of the creation of their new album posted to their youtube channel. Daniel started off by explaining how when they began the album, they did a studio lock-in, completely living with each other day to day in the same apartment and working in the same studio, having fun during the day and working throughout the night. He describes the memories as fun, fulfilling & challenging. John & Dong Q then further talked about the album process, they sat and had normal conversations which transitioned into jam-outs, saying that each lock-in they did lasted a week.
Daniel Kim noted ‘sunny days’ as one of the most significant songs on the album, one which is personally a favorite of mine as well. He talked about the process of how the song came to be, coming from a very happy part of his life. The band members met for coffee one night to catch up and as he was leaving, he hummed a tune which caused him to immediately go to the studio, which came up with the demo of ‘sunny days’ just hours later.
Daniel Kim summarizes the A side of the album as one full of love and happiness, not love as you love your lover, but loving his bandmates, friends & family, cherishing the time with them, which describes the closing song of the album, ‘love.’ a conclusion to that story of his life and world. You can check out the full album-making documentary on wave to earth’s youtube channel.
Looking at the album as a whole, from my own eyes, it’s an incredible, beautiful piece of work. It’s extremely cohesive, taking the listener on a relaxing journey as they hear and take in the full story of the love put into the album. Taking a look at my few favorite songs, I’ll start with ‘sunny days.’ Just as Daniel mentioned it’s one of the first songs separate from their singles that they started working on for the album. It’s powered by a simple drum and steel guitar instrumental with lyrics of love and appreciation. He says that he originally wrote it as a love song, but sees it as an appreciative song for his bandmates, family & friends. Later mentioning in the documentary that when he was writing this song, he was extremely happy where he was in life.
Next of my favorites is ‘evening glow.’ It takes on similar instrumentals to the last song mentioned, ‘sunny days.’ Over the few years since their debut, they made their sound very clear. Throughout the album, you can hear this more than ever. I can’t say that there’s one song on this album that stands out the most of them all, but I don’t see much of a problem with that, especially since that’s not what they aim for. I could quite honestly compare almost all of the songs on the A-side to each other, with all similar themes of love. ‘calla,’ though, is my favorite song from this side of the album, and the most powerful hitting song. He talks about this person, Calla, someone he can assume is a lover, which he symbolizes as a plant, another factor of the album mentioned in the documentary, taking on a theme of nature in the lyrics.
Focusing on the B side, I see the most notable songs being ‘homesick’ & ‘sunburn.’ This side of the album takes a darker twist on the theme of love shown in the first side. Seeing themes of heartbreak and desire, or in the song like ‘homesick,’ it takes on the idea of feeling lost in your life, not knowing what the future holds or where you’ll go next, with a mellow drum-guitar instrumental. ‘sunburn’ takes on the idea of drowsy & dark weather, missing how the sun would shine on a better and brighter day. Although, it is one of the most pumped-up songs on the album, coming in as my favorite right before ‘calla,’ with guitar, drum & jazz instrumentals.
Altogether, this album is absolutely one to check out. It’s an incredibly well written and produced indie/lo-fi rock album, with its own unique and beautiful character. In the process of mixing and mastering the album, they note how they didn’t focus on polishing and making the album perfect like how most artists or bands would do in the studio. They kept the imperfections and open sound from the recording sessions such as small background noises and doors opening which you could hear throughout the album if you listen closely enough. wave to earth is a band you should keep your eye on, for sure.
With their best album to date, which is a cohesive project full of laid-back, soothing lo-fi songs, takes you on a journey of nostalgia to reminisce of happy moments in your life, they are a band destined to grow so much more than they already have. Be sure to check out their older EPs & singles if you haven’t already.