August 23, 2023

Colin Derr

Death Valley Girls – I Am A Wave

Los Angeles quartet Death Valley Girls don’t fuck around. They’ve already released a fantastic full-length album this year (probably the best of their career), but apparently that’s not enough. The group have also just announced their debut tour of Australia—the greatest country on earth goddammit!—and dropped another spectacularly hypnotic single, ‘I Am A Wave’. 

If you’ve not already listened to the aforementioned 2023 full-length record, ‘Islands In The Sky’, maybe you should stop reading this and go listen to it now. It’s easily one of the best releases of the year and one that’s earnt a consistent spot atop the Derr family record player. 

The band are generally referred to as a psych-rock band, but they’re really so much more than that. Dive into ‘Islands In The Sky’ and expect a woozy concoction of scuzzy rock n roll, shimmering analogue synth pop, proto-punk, all topped off by deep psychedelic grooves and wild-as-hell lyrics. It’s a bloody good time.

‘I Am A Wave’ is a perfect coda-of-sorts to ‘Islands In The Sky’. It was likely recorded during the same sessions, I’m not sure. It begins like a twisted nursery rhyme, with a warped twinkling sound making way for searing guitar riffs and ghostly vocals. It sits on the slower side of Death Valley Girls songs, settling into a meditative pace, looping over and over again, adding new layers each time around, building into a wall of sound that will leave you completely transfixed. 

The group’s lead songwriter Bonnie Bloomgarden wrote about the track: 

“I’ve learned a lot from spiritual people lately. Pagans and witches, calling in the elements. I imagine it’s similar to asking Jesus, a saint, an ancestor, to help for guidance.

“For me, this song is like a meditation or a prayer. To become a wave. To not want to turn in, quit, and become small or unseen, but to flow and grow. Become part of the flow.” 

As is the case for most of the band’s material, ‘I Am A Wave’ is driven by this sense of mysticism. I don’t know what realm Death Valley Girls are tapping into to create this music, but I’m glad they’ve been granted this cosmic access. 

Hear the new track and all the band’s hits at Mary’s Underground on December 2nd. 

Death Valley Girls 

Mary’s Underground, Circular Quay
Saturday December 2nd
Doors open 7PM