Waves is an appropriate titled for indie Christian artist Jay Hoelscher’s latest project. Like the proverbial waves of the ocean, each of which is completely unique and individual yet inextricably connected to the whole, each song on this CD washes over you with an easy familiarity, yet each maintains its own personality and appeal.
It doesn’t hurt that the essential vibe of the entire CD harks back to early 60’s surf-pop bands like The Beach Boys and The Ventures.
Hoelscher kicks the 11-song project off with a melancholy pop number called “Living Without You.” Big reverby guitars accent plaintive vocals as Hoelscher laments his lost love. The tempo shifts to a more upbeat mood as the music segues into “Stop the World,” but the subject matter remains downbeat. “Can’t you stop the world for me?” Hoelscher cries out. “Can’t you stop it and let me get up.”
“Out of the Blue,” my favorite track on the CD, jacks up the mood with thudding toms and a driving bass. A musical prayer for restoration, Hoelscher employs clever word play while invoking the Almighty to lift him “out of the blue, into the new.” The gently meandering piano-driven tune, “A Different Drummer,” down shifts the energy, and makes for a pretty decent slow-dance opportunity.
Hoelscher goes full on Frankie Valli on “I Had a Dream,” complete with classic, four-part harmonies. You might find yourself pulling out your old Sha Na Na records after listening to this one. The project closes with the fun and encouraging doo wop number, “I Think I’m Growin’.”
Fans of indie pop music with strong classic 50s and 60s influences will find a lot to like in Waves. You can find it at http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JayHoelscher