After a summer of early-morning surf sessions, reading, writing, and jamming for friends and passersby at midnight rooftop gatherings, California-based Cody Simpson & the Tide have released their new EP, Wave One, via eOne Music. Pulling inspiration from surf music, rock music, and psychedelia to provide a vivid snapshot of a carefree summer, the EP perfectly encapsulates Venice Beach and the sun-kissed streets of Southern California where it was penned. Like its namesake, Wave One ebbs and flows between songs of surf rock gallops and irresistible energy, to songs of breezy beats, provocative hooks, and even acoustic sixties-style call-and-response. Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles spoke to Cody Simpson just before Christmas about the Wave One.
Everything is really shaping up for a big next few months with the release of your EP, Wave One, very exciting times ahead.
Thank you. I feel really optimistic and really happy. Its been a great ride so far.
Does it feel like a labour of love or a bit of relief that its finally finished and out there?
No, it’s very relieving. It feels as though it’s been a long time coming, but it went by very swiftly. I spent a couple years just doing a lot of guitar practice, writing and all that kind of stuff. I’m happy that I found band-mates that I gelled so well with, that we conceived this kind of band project/concept. We’ve made the first step in this direction and pursuit. Obviously, with Wave One, the first four tracks are a bit of an introduction to what we’re doing. I feel really confident going in to the studio as we have a lot of singles lined up. I feel quite relieved, very honest and true with it all.
Was that really hard, narrowing it down to that final four and picking those four tracks that are going to represent how you sound as right now?
One hundred percent its quite difficult because we’re ever evolving. One day we’re playing blues, doing that slow blues jamming, one day we’re playing rock stuff, one day we’re playing reggae. We’re always jamming and always playing around with new sounds. It’s a bit of a frustrating thing, you have to box it up and fit this into a three-minute song. We have to choose four out of twenty or thirty that we think sounds like an introduction to what we’re doing. There are so many tracks that we’re working on and we’re eventually going to get them all out there. The first steps are the hardest.
These songs that didn’t make the EP will they find their way onto an album, or Wave Two, or something else down the track?
For sure, we’re looking to do a second wave. I feel very certain that we held that material back for the purpose of releasing singles in 2018. I know we have a range of stuff that’s ready to go as soon as we can. It will all make it out there eventually.
Did you almost feel like high-fiving yourself when you played back the EP from start to end, know that you’ve nailed this one?
For sure. We listened back, and we felt as though it was an honest representation. I think that’s the best and only thing that we could do, was track everything and play our instruments the best we could create a unique sound with modern pop sensibilities that were also true to all of our influences. It’s a good brand I think, and we will only continue to expand on it.
Do you think being in the US, and in particular California, is that something you think enhanced your song writing and the sound you ended up evolving with for the EP?
I was influenced immensely to the degree that its almost unexplainable. A lot of the musical and literary history in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, both towns I’ve travelled around in, and spent quite a fair bit of time on different road trips, surf trips that I took when I was writing a lot of this stuff, up and down the coast. Having spent a year in Venice Beach, the home of a lot of poets and bands like The Doors then San Francisco, obviously a very historic, poetic city has really helped me find my identity as a writer and as a lyricist. That, in line with the practice, and the growth I’ve had as a guitar player has really been beneficial and the great things that have happened.
Is there anyone you’re looking to collaborate with, or write songs with down the track?This first round we focused on the internal collaboration of the band, which was very important in establishing ourselves as a trio and as a band. Now I guess we’re kind of looking to find some more collaborations and features on our stuff that will hopefully enhance what we’re doing. I don’t have any specific ones yet, but we’re pretty open to all kinds of possibilities. I don’t even know what that is yet, though.
Is 2018 largely focused on touring and is there likely to be an Australian tour, or maybe even a promo tour to show off the brand new EP?
For sure. We’ll be releasing music as early as possible in the new year. I’m pushing for an Aussie trip to follow that. I like coming back as much as possible once we’ve established ourselves a little further. When we’re able to start tour, we definitely will be.
It must be shaping up to be really exciting 2018 to be able to reap the reward of the hard work you’ve been putting in.
Yeah, we jumped right back in the studio after we released this EP. We’ve just been finishing up a bunch more stuff and getting that all in the arsenal. A couple musical releases, and hopefully as many gigs as we can possibly fit into our schedule.
Interview by Rob Lyon
To get your copy of Wave One head here…