Bay Area-based multi-instrumentalist Jackson Phillips writes for us about The Days We Had, his debut album as Day Wave.
This is one of the songs I wrote before putting out my first EP. Knowing that my album would be sonically more three dimensional than my EPs, I decided to save this one for that setting. Happy I held onto it.
The idea for this song came when I was listening to Brian Eno's Here Come The Warm Jets. I wanted to make something cyclical, that changed with each cycle. I restrained the lyrics to one simple phrase, to let the arrangement guide the song. The sustained guitars in the intro and outro are my little homage to Robert Fripp.
This is also an older song of mine, and it went through a couple of versions before ending up how it is on the record. I almost put it on my second EP, but decided to hold on and let it evolve a little bit.
I wrote this song just a day or two before I went into the studio to record the album. I called it "Untitled" and as months went by I just couldn't part with the name. It just fit.
This song was always written to be an instrumental, sort of an interlude. I knew I wanted something without lyrics to break up the album, and that's where the idea came from. I tend to arrange my songs in a fairly straightforward pop structure, but it always feels good to break away when you get the chance.
This is one of the last songs I wrote for the album, and it's probably the most straight ahead one in the tracklisting. Just as it feels good to break away from it, making something so structured also has its place for me.
I think "Bring You Down" is my favourite song on the record. I wrote the whole thing, lyrics and all, with just an acoustic guitar, which is really rare for me. I usually write and record at the same time. Having the song already written made me approach the production from a different perspective.
Still being very new to guitar, recording this song was the first time I had the acoustic revelation. I went on to add acoustic guitars all over the album, but this one was the first. I also added a synthesiser solo at the end, almost as I joke, but I kept it.
This is the first song I wrote when I started Day Wave. I knew pretty soon that I'd save it for my first album. I think I wrote this before I was comfortable reflecting on my own feelings. But I like how carefree it is. It's sort of just me daydreaming about meeting a cool girl and the world ending.
The idea for this song came when I was listening to The Flamingos. It's my tension filled version of a 1950s pop tune. It's also one of the last songs written for the album.
When I wrote "I'm Still Here" I knew it would be the last song on the album. It definitely dark, but hopeful. And I just loved how it would leave the album open ended, almost leaving the listener wanting more. There's definitely more to come.