Children of the Wave are a band from Melbourne, Australia, and like true children of the wave, make music whose form changes from one moment to the next, defying genres and surprising us at every corner. While their music is truly experimental, they haven’t completely abandoned conventional song-writing. Their songs however don’t follow normal songwriting convention. Vocals are sporadic and appear when least expected, and the melodies either develop from the most unusual sources or degenerate into lovely cacophonies (they’re lovely only if your ears are as weird as mine). The Electric Sounds… is an oddball of an album that uses the most unlikely of elements, to produce music that belongs more to a a dreamlike fairy tale world than the world of mini ipads. Take for example, the middle eastern feel of “Come Play Frolic” with its use of horn instruments, which is followed by field recordings of waves and birds tweeting in “Standing on the Beach at Ponta Del Gada” and “Home of all the Ideas” respectively, field recordings accompanied by what seems to be underwater choirs, percussion that brings to mind Indian music, and a very psychedelic feel that would make the music fit right into any collection of ’60s albums. Despite the variety of approaches used even within the same track, the passage from one song to the next feels natural.
A not so careful listen, would make one think that Children of the Wave are nothing but your typical psychedelic, hippy-wannabe band who wish they were born 45 years ago, but the truth is that they go one step further, experimenting in ways that go beyond the standard mysticism of psychedelia by exploring the boundaries of sound and the possibilities offered by instruments and non-instruments (which includes everything from the waves mentioned above to dogs barking). At times they occupy territory first charted by bands such as Yo La Tengo, balancing delicately between dream pop, and more abstract forms of sound, first explored by Morricone but in a more freeform way. The end result is a collection of songs and non-songs where every listen allows us to discover something new.
The music of Children is very cinematic, but what really makes this album worth listening to, is that the experimentation, the field recordings, and all other unusual elements blend naturally and the music remains soulful, a characteristic of artists truly in touch with their world, rather than robots making otherworldly something-like-music that no one can relate to. The best experiments are indeed those where the initiators are emotionally invested in them, and this is a band that puts a lot of personality into their music. (John Kontos)