A year on from the release of his long-awaited debut studio album To Stop From Falling Off The Earth, Naarm/Melbourne-based producer Wave Racer returns today with a self-directed video for new standalone single, ‘Heart’s Not In It’, out now via Astral People Recordings / [PIAS].
Where To Stop From Falling Off The Earth detailed Wave Racer’s struggles with mental health and his subsequent overcoming, ‘Heart’s Not In It’ emerges on the other side of that battle, full of contentment and sounding simultaneously revitalised by this newfound sense of peace. Adding folk-inspired acoustic guitar and string accents to his signature electronic pop rush, ‘Heart’s Not In It’ taps into the same exultant earnestness of his debut LP’s 1975-style contemporary indie-pop, whilst placing a punctuation mark on that period, providing a glimpse into the future of Wave Racer as he continues to grow into himself both sonically and emotionally.
“In some ways, this song acts as an addendum to my album from last year, insofar as I’m interrogating the same insecurities with the same self-awareness, and attempting to gain strength from that process in much the same way as the material on that record”, Wave Racer shares of the new single.
On the video, he continues: “I made this video myself at home using whatever was immediately available to me in my surroundings. The song’s extended meaning is about indecisiveness, or an unwillingness to commit to something, in favour of the next fun and exciting thing that comes along. To me, in this attitude there’s a certain cheapness and lack of integrity, in that there’s no investment or long-term goal associated with your decision making – but also, there’s the necessity to be realistic and flexible with how we go about making our decisions, and changing them if we need to, which sometimes means spontaneously leaving something behind, quickly changing your approach to your situation, or being opportunistic.
I wanted to put this idea in the video by trying out as many cheap visual tricks and techniques as I could, using as many sources as I could reasonably access, and in doing so I ended up creating a kind of video collage that feels both chaotic and direct, but is unique to my own unfiltered decision-making. There are stacked layers, ever-changing backdrops, still images, composited videos, graphics, memes, multiple performances – it’s attempting to be too many things at once, on purpose, and hopefully shows how that can both be a problem and an interesting solution.”
Launching with a sold-out headline show at The Lansdowne in Sydney, followed by The Northcote in Melbourne and a Twitch party that was joined by special guests including What So Not, Cosmo’s Midnight and Nina Las Vegas, Wave Racer’s debut LP was released in October 2021 to praise from Billboard, The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, NME AU (4*), Rolling Stone AU (4*), The Brag (Album of the Week), Dancing Astronaut and many more. The eleven tracks on To Stop From Falling Off The Earth blend together the rush of Wave Racer’s trademark glistening, ecstatic 64-bit production with his love of quirk-driven pop and, in a first, his own voice, to tell a story of overcoming anxiety, depression and isolation.
“All of these songs are made from a feeling of being at a loose end - like flailing around in the wind directionless, with no anchoring in reality,” says Tom Purcell of the album’s resonant emotionality, a sonic balm for anxious times that reverberates for both the listener and its creator. “To Stop From Falling Off The Earth is an attempt to say, “this album is going to remind you about the things that you can do to ground yourself.” And these are the things that have happened to me and have worked for me - this is a story about preventing myself from losing touch with reality.”
Collecting singles ‘Money’, ‘Dreaming’, ‘Left Behind’ (featured in Wave Racer’s set for Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky Digital Festival in April), ‘Look Up to Yourself’ (performed live for triple j’s Like A Version in August) and ‘AUTO’, To Stop From Falling Off The Earth retains the trademark bubbliness with tongue-in-cheek production, even as it does tackle these bigger demons, ultimately uncovering a sincerity and emotional depth to Wave Racer’s music that has patiently, quietly matured alongside the project.
Earlier this year, the album was complemented by a remix package featuring reworks of six of its standout moments. The first three songs on the package were expertly reinterpreted by Kero Kero Bonito’s Gus Lobban (aka Kane West), US producer William Crooks and PC Music’s caro♡, all of whom take Wave Racer’s considered pop to unexpected corners of the dancefloor (both virtual and IRL). For the latter half of the remix EP, Wave Racer shared free downloads for his album’s stems, inviting fans to submit their own remixes. Three of Wave Racer’s favourite submissions were selected from fans around the world: The Netherlands’ Blue Voices, South Korea duo Emohz and Sprightly from the US.
Wave Racer has also been keeping busy over the past 12 months, spending time in the studio with the likes of daine, DZ Deathrays, Kinder, CLYPSO, EGOISM, Montgomery and more. His track ‘AUTO’ was played during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June this year, while ‘Higher’ was featured in Apple Arcade’s trailer for Jetpack Joyride 2.