Underrated artist spotlight: wave to earth

March 7, 2023 — by Hannah Lee
Photo by wave to earth
Wave to earth are a South Korean indie-rock band and debuted on Aug. 23, 2019 with the single “wave” followed by “light” on Nov. 18.
The Korean Indie band wave to earth is perfect to listen to on a stressful day.

Rating: 4/5 Falcons

With a rise in popularity of Korean culture in Western media and a growing subset of artists venturing into a chill, indie rock style, wave to earth is the next big thing. The highly melodic, classic indie-bordering-indie-rock band feels like the perfect ending to the day or the start of a new vacation, with its satisfying, softly layered instrumentals and raw vocals.

Wave to earth debuted with their single “Wave” in August 2019 and currently consists of three members: 25-year-old vocalist Daniel Kim, drummer Dong Q and guitarist John Cha. Originally, the band consisted solely of Shin and Kim; however, in January of 2020, their newest member, Cha, joined in with the release of their first EP, “wave 0.01.” While they are the three official members, “session members” also include Jo Jung-geun on keyboard and Jeonmin on saxophone.

The Korea-based indie-surf rock band boasts a small but mighty discography, with a majority of their lyrics in English.

Their debut single “Wave” sets the tone of the band’s discography perfectly, with a chill, smooth listen. Wave to earth’s soft sound as a whole feels very ambient and atmospheric — every song has depth with a lingering element. And “Wave,” is just that. 

The band’s first comeback was with the gentle, lullaby-like single “Light,” one of their most popular songs up to date with over 5 million plays.

“Light” was the first track from the band that I came across, and it remains one of my all time favorites. The instrumental composition feels light and summery, paired with sweet, romantic lyrics sung by Kim, whose vocals slightly remind me of the British Indie Rock band Amber Run: “You are my sea/you are my sunshine/the star, the moon.” With beautifully written verses and a sweet composition all around, “Light” is the perfect love song to play for the girl you love.

Despite the band standing at just two EPs, every song remains memorable and a welcoming listen. Wave to earth’s lowkey and mellow indie sound seamlessly emulates images of the beach, sun and ocean. It is perfect for stress-relief. 

Their first 2020 EP “wave 0.01” includes two of their previously released songs and four unreleased songs. “Gold,” one of the two title tracks, is delightfully jazzy (though not entirely pure jazz) with a prominent bass line that leaves a warm lingering feeling after listening. Kim boasts his warm, soothing vocal range with several ad-libs, and the song is reminiscent of something you’d hear in a coffee shop.

Another song on “waves 0.01” is “purple lake,” one of their most electronic/synth songs from the band. “Purple lake” acts almost like a climax in the album, as every member of the band shows off their abilities.

Later that year, the band released their second EP, “Summer flows 0.02.” The second track “ride” sets the album’s mood, with dual electric guitar melodies overlapping one another — almost like the lapping of waves at a shore. Everything about “ride” will draw you in from the first listen, from the hypnotizing bass guitar to the bass drum and groovy, mellow vocals.

“Seasons” slows things down with keyboard introduction met with a subdued drum kit and bass guitar. As the longest track on “summer flows 0.02,” this wave to earth song will transport you onto a sandy beach, as you sway in a hammock with a warm sunset, light breeze and calming waves. 

With their uniquely sweet and melodic sound, wave to earth is perfect to listen to year-round, anywhere and everywhere. If you’re in need of some dreamy indie rock in your life, or are simply looking for something smooth and easy on the ears, I recommend giving wave to earth a listen.

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