Brisbane four piece Waxflower unleashed their debut EP, We Might Be Alright at the brink of 2021, which sent a burst of melancholy hopefulness out in ever-evolving pop punk landscape. Since then, the boys have been chipping away behind the scenes, playing the odd gig in and around their hometown and working towards some of their most progressive music yet.
‘Soak’ is Waxflower’s brand new single and it’s as you’ve yet to hear them before. Vocalist Tristan Higginson is joined by guitarist Jordan Beard, who makes his vocal debut in the studio and because I find this new track to be their most groundbreaking release yet, I kinda just had reach out to both of them on the line for an extremely fun chat on the making of ‘Soak’. And guys, Tristan swears this one remains just as hopeful as the music we’ve heard from the band since their 2019 inception:
“We took ‘Soak’ in and we had the chorus which has kind of stayed constantly the entire time. There was a version where the verses and bridge weren’t completely right, but we loved the chorus so much. We knew that song was something special, so we basically just kept working on it all year. I’m really glad that we waited though because this version is so much better.
It’s a bit of a departure from the EP to be honest. We Might Be Alright was definitely a little more hopeful than the song is. In terms of the purpose it serves in my mind, is that it still has that kind of hopefulness though. It feels like we’ve been sitting on it for ages and it’s probably the song I’ve listened to the most at this point. But I still go back to listen just to hear the breakdown because it’s something that we wouldn’t do. And I like that a lot.”
A breakdown by Waxflower? You got it. Not to mention, Jordan’s new addition here makes the band sound edgier and closely aligned with the new wave pop punk scene this year. It’d be a lie if I said I wasn’t immersed with how much the alternative/pop punk world has continued to evolve recently, with US artists Kennyhoopla and nothing, nowhere stirring up a storm with their rock/emo rap-style music. I guess you could call it the Machine Gun Kelly effect? Jordan chimes in with:
“‘Soak’ is just something a bit different. We kind of all got a bit caught up in the emo rap scene, and I think that we were like, oh, we can do something like this. Pushing it the way that we did actually ended up working out so well for us. I’m so excited with how it all came out and that I got to add a verse and add my own little writing flair to what we’ve built as Waxflower.”
So have we found the secret sauce to the new Waxflower dynamic? Signs are pointing to yes, as the boys sound more enthusiastic than ever and have since gained a newfound confidence in their ability to pen upbeat emo-pop anthems:
“I think in the future, Tristan and I are definitely going to try and work together on writing songs. ‘Soak’ is just such a good example of what can happen when two shy guys put their heads together.”
In more ways than one, Waxflower have really blossomed from that Kisschasy 2.0 band we were introduced to way back when with ‘Cut Your Teeth’. While their music has most definitely evolved, so has the band’s overall confidence in how they present themselves to the world. In previous interviews I’ve conducted with Tristan, he’s spoken about his internal struggles with anxiety and it’s pretty evident that throughout the EP and in each of their music videos, he’s definitely come out of his own head with each new release. With hit singles ‘Again’, ‘Not Alone’ and ‘Food For Your Garden’ making its way onto fan favourite playlists this year, the band’s confidence in their evolving story is evident:
“It’s just great to see people getting behind it all and especially with ‘Food For Your Garden’ and ‘Not Alone’. They’re two of the songs that we were really proud to get out there. I think everyone’s really enjoyed them and it’s just been so great. Obviously we haven’t been able to play too many shows this year, whether it be at home or interstate, but the few that we have has just been amazing to see the fans that already know the lyrics and they’re singing along so loud. We were blown away at our June headline show because it was just the support. That was awesome. So yeah. It’s been really humbling to see everyone get around the new EP.”
With ‘Soak”s catchier, grittier emo-pop melody officially out on the airwaves, expect these Brisbane boys to pick up even more momentum into summer 2022 and beyond. With borders (domestic and international) practically reopened, the band have their sights set on what looks to be an even bigger year for them. Jordan reveals:
“There’s some stuff maybe in the pipeline that you know is still maybe not confirmed. But following ‘Soak’, keep your eyes out for a few more singles after that coming very soon. We’d love to get over to the UK and to the US and everywhere really as quick as we can. Hopefully 2022 has some good things in store for us there. We’ll be so excited to go overseas as soon as we can.”
As we look towards the year that will be 2022, Waxflower have some high hopes. With more new music on the way and potentially a regular touring schedule, the possibilities are endless. So when I asked about who they’d love to play a show with one day and artists like nothing, nowhere and The Band Camino came out, ‘Soak’ sounds like a push in the right direction to see them shine alongside their Australian pop punk counterparts, Yours Truly and Stand Atlantic, who are already making great strides overseas.
I don’t know about you, but a post-pandemic world is more than ready to become soaked in all that Brisbane’s Waxflower have yet to deliver. I’m more than excited for them!
Interview by Tamara May @citylightstam
Stream ‘Soak’ here