Based on his multiple successes with daring and disparate musical projects, one can understand where Jerry Adler's perspective comes from. Whether as the songwriter, lead singer and guitarist for the critically acclaimed NYC indie-rock powerhouse The Blam, or with his folk-influenced acoustic solo work under the pseudonym Flugente, Adler has continually challenged himself artistically while also challenging his audience to join him for the journey.
His most powerful creative departure now arrives with Wave Sleep Wave.
On the band's eponymous debut album, Adler has created a unique foundation that underpins intoxicating melodies and whip-smart lyrics. Multi-layered, looped guitar textures float and pulse above the striking, distinct drum work of the band's only other member, drummer Yuval Lion. The duo reunites in Wave Sleep Wave for the first time since their days together in The Blam.
The stories told in each of Adler's songs---be they universal in nature or deeply personal---are paralleled by the gripping story of how Wave Sleep Wave came about in the first place.
"I was invited to take part in an art project at MIT. I had been experimenting with loops and sounds and the timing was perfect because it gave me a chance to take this idea I had been flirting with on a proper date," Adler explains. "It was deeply compelling to me, and afterwards I found myself wanting to flesh this out somehow. But the question was, how? Is it going to be only guitar? Would it fit in with drums?" Searching for answers, Adler got together with Lion and spent a rehearsal session improvising. "Some of the stuff didn't work, but it gave me a definite idea of what could work. Then toward the end, we played three ideas in a row and something clicked. We suddenly thought, whoa, wait a minute... that was cool."
Adler went back home and essentially wrote the entire album. "I literally put a piece of paper on the wall for each idea, which in turn became each song." As the album started to gel, it became clear that what had clicked in that first rehearsal was indeed a central and crucial element to the success of the idea itself: each of the songs---while easily able to stand on their own---were even that much more powerful and captivating if they seamlessly flowed into each other without stopping.
One rehearsal later, Adler and Lion played a sold-out show in NYC's lower east side, performing in order what would become their debut record. When they headed into the recording studio to cut that record with engineer Danny Shatzky all of eleven days later, it was only the fourth time they had played through the whole piece in its entirety. That energy, that excitement, and the duo's intangible chemistry are unmistakably evident in each moment of Wave Sleep Wave.
Mixed and mastered by renowned producer Blake Morgan, the album operates on two levels like links in a chain, each song---each part and lyric, in fact---functioning both individually and as part of a greater whole. "This record feels like it couldn't have ever existed in any other form, regardless of the all the happy accidents and providence that went into it," smiles Adler.
"It's the best sounding, most melodic record I've ever made and I'm so glad I held on during this particular ride."