Donovan Wolfington // Waves
Donovan Wolfington go out on their highest note and leave fans begging for more.
Waves is the third and final album from New Orleans-based emo cult phenomenon Donovan Wolfington, and with that information comes a specific kind of expectation. Their last album was once referred to as the In Utero of the currently DIY scene, so knowing this is their final statement, what role will the album play in the band's quaint but intense legacy? Waves is in some ways the antithesis of its predecessor, eclectic as ever but thinned to a nine-track swan song that ensures that Donovan Wolfington go out on their highest note and leave fans begging for more. The first thing you'll notice on opening track "Wave" is a math-rock influence that was almost nonexistent on 2015's How to Treat the Ones You Love. While that influence comes and goes throughout Waves' brisk 29-minute runtime, it actually weighs that track down in contrast to the rest of the album. Things lighten up a little as the band navigate the corridors of power-pop and Modest Mouse-influenced indie rock simultaneously, even including a sample-based interlude titled "Kanye." If this sounds like a lot to pack into 29 minutes, well, it is — there isn't a better word for it than "dense" — but it's also an incredibly rewarding listen, for fans of the band and the DIY scene alike. — Aaron Mook