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Catch Day Wave Tonight at Mercury Lounge

August 19th, 2015

Jackson Phillips grew up as a jazz drummer. He even attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. But once there, Phillips became more interested in making songs rather than simply mastering an instrument. (Plus: “I don’t know if you’ve seen Whiplash … it wasn’t to that extent, but it was very competitive and people weren’t nice to each other.”) So he learned to play the piano and moved into production. His first band, Carousel, made synth-pop tunes. But inspired by the likes of the Beach Boys, New Order and Joy Division, Phillips launched the guitar-based project Day Wave (above, doing “Drag”). His debut EP, the well-received Headcase (stream it below), arrived last month, and although he performs live with other people, it was strictly a solo affair: “I haven’t worked with anyone else on the Day Wave project yet. I really like it, compared to what I was doing the last couple years. It’s much easier for me because I’m not bouncing ideas off of anyone and not second-guessing, which is what happens when you’re working with other people.” He’s got a West Coast tour beginning next month, but you can catch Day Wave tonight at Mercury Lounge. Brooklyn duo Surf Rock Is Dead open the show.