It is fairly safe to say that pony music has reached another level in terms of quality. Furthermore, the speed at which new musicians in the fandom get better can inspire nothing but awe. The names of GrazySmash, Niłch’i Poni, Single Purpose to name a few and of course Tw3Lv3 come to mind. He can now rival with Drum & Bass giants such as Hay Tea and Age of Vinyl, ventures in a plethora of heterogeneous genres (and be good at it!) and at the same time produce some of the best lo-fi out there.
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The story behind this album is that it was supposed to come out earlier this year, but the release was postponed because of copyright issues. Then, a bunch of money was stolen from Tw3Lv3, urging him to release it then. This means that if you have the financial means, you can buy the album on bandcamp and show some of that brony solidarity the community is known for, especially in troubled times like these. On Friday, March 20 Bandcamp will cut out its fees, so it would be the perfect time to buy Waves, for yourself or as a gift. Physical copies are available too, for a very reasonable price. But without further ado, let’s dive into the tracklist.
The album starts with With You. The bass is really nice and the percussion interesting. The lead and the ambient sounds of the intro and outro give the impression of looking at stars twinkling, with a friend or lover, hence the title. Overall, it sets the mood right and prepares the listener to chill for the next half an hour or so.
5am Lo-Fi Session seems to be a continuation of the small series of “lo-fi sessions” he uploaded on his YouTube channel last November. Just like them the focus is on heavy use of samples, including vocal ones. Maybe, read hopefully, this means the series will come back.
It Never Ends is mainly about lower frequencies. The leitmotif and its variations throughout complements nicely the strong emphasis on bass. Static noise and vinyl scratches also give the song and urban feel.
midnight feelings is a jazzier one, albeit relatively keeping the structure of the previous ones. It is no secret saxophone fits lo-fi like a glove (see Steryotype, in particular their Brownie tracks on ASoS), or perhaps it is the other around, but either way Tw3Lv3 exploited it and got this really neat track as a result.
Spring Dove is a track centered around warm piano melodies and a creative drum pattern. The whole song is slightly out of tune but in a good way, which goes well with the vinyl crackling sound.
Scheme Piece serves as a little interlude as it is one of the most chill tracks of the album. The bass is the loudest of the instruments here, and the sweet old piano makes it difficult to stay awake. If it weren’t for the classic lo-fi drum beat, it would be perfect to go to sleep to.
meet me at the beach contrasts brightly with the previous track in that it is a lot funkier. This time the ambient sounds bring the listener to the beach, and though the melancholy is still present, a sense of hope is brought forth by the lighter piano melodies.
Metamorphose is the first of two tracks on the album featuring an additional artist, this time it is kiki.. One of the highlights of this song are the sounds of lament throughout. If elegy had a sound it would be this one. In between whale singing, the sound of seagulls and boat horns, the title of the album becomes thus clearer.
i don’t hear you. This one has emphasizes the piano but is not as straightforward as it may seem at first glance. Though it is one of the most classic lo-fi tracks of the album, there is an apparent contradiction: while the song has a lot of inertia, or momentum, it clashes with the record stuttering effects which creates an interesting rhythmic experience. The song also contains a small vocal clip from Tw3Lv3 himself.
Sunflower is brighter than the ones it follows, thanks to the upbeat Rhodes and the colorful drums. If the album was a journey through the waters Sunflower would be the moment one emerges from them. It is the fifth and last track that contains water sounds and feels like a response to meet me at the beach from which it borrows many elements.
Waves is the conclusion of the story told by the album, before the last two tracks that can be considered bonuses. There are several similarities between this one and Spring Dove, including the chords and the birds’ chirping, which seems to be the second theme of the album due to how often they appear. Whilst some of the preceding tracks were about waves in the form of periodic movements of water, this one is about sound waves, and so is the whole eponymous album.
ComeOverWhenTheSunRise is less clearly a lo-fi beat than the others were. The high speed hats and loud bass and sub create a slightly uncomfortable yet pleasant atmosphere.
Goodbye is featuring Retronax and was the perfect closing beat, and not only because of its title. It was inspired by the show Adventure Time, which Tw3Lv3 is a big fan of.
After listening to Waves one thing is for sure and the other remains a mystery. The first one is the fact that Waves was a blast to listen to and the second is “How will he be able to top that?”
As a final note, unlike what is said in the Bandcamp and YouTube descriptions of the album, it is available on all the usual streaming platforms.