California Wives – “Art History”

Album Reviews | Sep 1st, 2012

Record Label: Vagrant Records
Genre: New Wave / Alternative
Band Link:
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I never heard of California Wives but as soon as I heard their first single “Blood Red Youth,” I was hooked. After I heard the album, I wanted to hear it again so I put it back on. I rarely do that. California Wives have made an album that will definitely be on my Best Of 2012 list!

“Blood Red Youth” is the first track and it’s a good starting point if you’re checking out the band for the first time. Once you hear that track, you’ll know if you like their style or not. California Wives have a sound that’s a mixture of ‘80s new wave, ‘90s alternative, and indie rock music of today. I can see California Wives blowing up big time, which I already have a feeling they have.

The start of “Tokyo” has keys and guitars playing and it’s got this nice sound and definitely makes me think of New Order and Depeche Mode. The vocals remind me of The Pet Shop Boys at times as well. “Photolights” has that 80’s sound that I just love. Makes me want to break out my New Wave/ 80s pop music when hearing this track. It’s also got a really catchy beat that I can see in commercials, movie trailers or movies. “Blood Red Youth” is a great track but if I had to pick the next top two tracks, it has to be “Tokyo” and “Purple.” “Purple” is probably more in line with being a single than “Tokyo” though. It’s more radio-friendly.

There are some albums that I consider driving albums and “Art History ”is one of them. Every morning on my commute at 6am, I’d put this album on and it just fit. The sun is rising, not that many assholes (err I mean cars) on the road and the music is soothing in a reminiscing way. Do yourself a favor, and at least check out one song from California Wives.

Bottom Line: Amazing debut album!
Notable Tracks: Blood Red Youth, Tokyo, Marianne, Purple, The New Process
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