Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill, Guided By Voices
These contemporary indie veterans have earned their keep as one of the patron saints of modern alternative folk rock. Each of their four albums displays a certain evolution in their sound, and their latest record Permalight sees them heading toward a louder and more expansive aesthetic.
Rogue Wave began in 2002 when front man Zach Schwartz visited friends in New York City to record new material he’d been working on. Those recordings would eventually serve as the foundation of Rogue Wave’s first LP, Out of the Shadow. Schwartz returned from New York to his home in California and assembled a group of musicians to fill out the sound and bring the songs he’d recorded back East to life.
This is where Rogue Wave got its official start, however in the 7 years of its existence the band has gone through so many trials and tribulations that it seems they’ve started anew several times. After their band member Evan Farrell left to tend to other musical projects, he was found dead from massive smoke inhalation, during a fire. The band also experienced trouble when their label, Sub Pop, dropped them despite a successful following and generous buzz. They’ve since found a new home at Jack Johnson’s label Brushfire Records. Zach Schwartz, the lead singer, also has endured serious back injuries recently.
All of these hurdles would seem to give them a green light to create lamentable self-indulgent music, however they’ve managed to stay above their own self-pity and continuously produce quality cerebral pop music. A band like Rogue Wave demonstrates that a little tenacity and great song writing will allow any band to endure the stormiest of weather.