After the start of this fall’s blasted warm weather, it’s surprising I’m about to continue talking about heat. But trust me, this week’s Gr8 Unknown is hot in another way.
Hot Flash Heat Wave brings San Francisco rays wherever they go, their music encapsulating good vibes and sunny times. While their Facebook genre is listed as “Ganja Gaze,” their bio is more true to their sound. The four dudes in the band — all friends from their high school years — have managed to carve out a space in the dream pop realm (and their music isn’t the only dreamy thing about them, if you know what I mean). Learn more about them here.
The first song I heard from them was in December 2016 — “Gutter Girl,” off their 2015 album, Neapolitan. Let me tell you, this song definitely warmed me up that winter. The intro has these slow, surfer vibes, and before you know it, the song heads in another direction completely. The surfer vibes remain, but the rhythm becomes immediately addicting. All of a sudden, it was crashing symbols and guitars, just to slow down again for the verses.
Watch a live version here:
What’s cool about these guys is that they have three singers. Three! The bassist and the two guitarists all take their turns with the mic. How can listeners ever be bored when they have three voices to choose from? The first few listens don’t really reveal this, but once you listen more you can pick it out.
“Hesitation” is one song where the vocals are noticeably different. They are a lot deeper — as the other vocalists have higher pitched sounds, but the guitars still have that same bouncy rhythm.
One song from their 2017 album, Soaked, called “Raindrop,” shows a slower side to their music. The guitar on this one is a bit grittier, but still speaks to their dream pop sounds. The lyrics to this one is what caught my attention. One verse says, “Like a raindrop / She’ll be coming down / Sugarcubes and clovers / four leaves to be found.” It’s just cute!
Here’s a live listen:
Hot Flash Heat Wave has a lot more to show than what I’ve provided. I suggest turning up the volume and putting on your dancing shoes to try them out for yourself.