MP3 At 3PM: 50 Foot Wave


50 Foot Wave is an L.A. act that twists the sound of ‘90s alternative into something new, fresh, and utterly California. Vocalist Kristin Hersh gets a lot of the credit for this, her performance recalling late-era Sunny Day Real Estate in it’s strange, enthralling passion. Get a taste of this below with the title track from 50 Foot Wave’s new EP Bath White, and read Hersh’s words about the track while you listen.

“Swimming in Laguna saltwater, coming clean, laughing with the kids, etc., I looked down and saw a pretty big (I wanna say enormous, but I’m not gonna) shark, between my toes and the sand. California will do this to you sometimes; catch your breath between spoiling you and inflicting unspoiled on you. It shrinks you to your appropriate size, an un-mattering. Sharks are the matter that matters in that sun-sparkled world. It’s their ocean, not yours.

Anyway, smart people already know that, but I paddled away, pale and embarrassed. And still, pale and embarrassed, I wander an ocean that isn’t mine. Not a lot of choice, really. Maybe something new is on the other side, but I guess none of us’ll know for sure until we finish piling up the new that keeps getting pitched our way here. Ducking or gathering, depending. New can
be hard, but together we move forward, backward and in circles, nudged by these suggestions:

1. Don’t hurt each other. If you can’t help, do nothing.

2. And try not to fall for impure when purity is waiting: a rotten apple can’t feed you, a shadow isn’t a person.

3. When the glare of fluorescent human-ness obscures the light of humanity, let it wake you up a little, help sort out your noisy addictions.

One Bath White butterfly is the oldest pinned entomological specimen, the others fly up and over the Himalayas. I’m not making a judgment call here, just saying. Cuz it doesn’t get any better than high on the ground, in my opinion. We don’t get any better than that. Clumsily, sweetly, we surf the sharks’ ocean, fly the butterflies’ sky, but grounded is pretty great. And it’s the only greatness that’s really asked of us.

Sometimes it really is so awfully brutal here, I know … and then sometimes? It’s brutally enchanting. Happy, happy, happy new year.”

“Bath White” (download):