Nam Wayne: Nam Wayne // D//E Exclusive Premiere: Friend Crush

Through the couple of tracks we have recently presented off Nam Wayne's debut album, we have already touched base with the much interesting story behind it, which goes something like this: the artist from Philadelphia began writing the album in 2005 intending to have it done in the course of a single week, but since then some of his equipment failed, his dummer (Golem's Tim Monaghan) fell in a comma, the economy went down the drain and the vinyl manufacturing industry kept letting everyone down because of its bottleneck anomaly. Flash forward twelve years later, Nam Wayne's debut is finally ready to be released, somehow still sounding relevant, despite its often outdated themes.

An American of Scottish-Vietnamese ancestry, Nam Wayne (pronounced "Nom") shows up very late for his date with his growing audience, but at least it was worth the wait as it is evidently presented throughout the record's ten songs. You may have guessed already by the two previous singles that Wayne and his band do not hold back the reverb and the tape compression, so if you like your indie rock dirty and forthright, it will not take long for the album to win you over. Wayne's kind of gritty garage-tinted alternative rock 'n' roll is frequently layered with shoegazing finishes and psychedelic guise, but it never becomes overcomplicated and doesn't tire, instead it jumps out as exciting and palpable, from the rapid sharpness of opener, Friend Crush (which happens to be presented to the world for the first time ever through this post), to the dreamlike haziness of the closing track, In The Same Dream.

The album's anachronistic character is validated and highlighted through the themes that bring those ten songs to life. There is one about the demise of public phones, a post-market-crash survival song and a protesting one about the (W.) Bush administration, although not everything is behind the times on the album, as some subjects will always be dateless, like the case of Eighth Grade Enchantress which is about a young prodigy who became the artist's lifelong friend, or the psyched up instrumental, Breakfast At Yaffa, which you don't need a target date to enjoy, especially if for any reason you are feeling sort of tipsy.

Wayne admittedly treated his recordings like the construction of Star Wars props. He set them up attentively, with care and precision, but then went on and roughed them up, smeared and smudged them sufficiently enough, just as much as he needed to achieve that imposing effect, the one you get when you combine grandiosity with dirt. Nam Wayne possesses those superior, yet somehow soiled qualities, like the superlative spirit of punk that dwells in the original garage rock of the sixties, in its revival in the eighties and in the shoegaze movement of the late eighties/nineties.

Nam Wayne drops February 9th. Until then, here follows the premiere of opening track, Friend Crush. Follow the links for more Nam Wayne on D//E...

Falling On The Waves

Decade Of Darkness


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