Introducing The New Wave

(Sunshine Pop #3)

When fellow New Wave music enthusiasts ask me what for me may be regarded as the first New Wave-classifiable songs based on sound or musicality, I often cite Sparks’ “Fa La Fa Lee” (from the band’s debut album, 1971’s Halfnelson) and Roxy Music’s “Virginia Plain” (1972, Roxy Music). Albeit both these may be more aptly described as Art Rock or Art Pop, they still swim within the same sonic spectrum.

However, recently, while exploring the archives of the ’60s, looking for bands whose music falls under Sunshine Pop, Psychedelic Pop/Rock, and Bubblegum Pop, I discovered this band named The New Wave. After listening to its one-and-only, self-titled album, released in 1967, I was pleasantly surprised how New Wave / Indie Pop-sounding its songs were–the plucked guitars, oboe, harpsichord, strings, echo-laden vocals, and sugary melodies.

Formed in 1967, in Los Angeles, California, United States, The New Wave consisted of Reid King and Thom Andriola. The duo released only one album. Their music may not be proper New Wave–instead Sunshine Pop–but it definitely predated the style that evolved in the couple of decades that followed.

I was able to get in touch with The New Wave’s guitar player / songwriter Reid King, and he confirmed with me that his use of the word New Wave for the name of his band was inspired by his goal to incorporate ’50s/’60s French New Wave cinema and soundtracks into the context of Pop music during the time. This means that his musical vision predated the New Wave music genre that emerged in the late ’70s, which was often attributed to ’70s Punk Rock. Thus, King’s concept and The New Wave’s music is definitely an even earlier root of what is known now as New Wave music.
Recommended tracks are “The Shade of the Sun,” “Little Dreams,” “Walkin’ On down the Streets,” “Shadows of Good Bye,” and “The Evening Mist – A Morning Dew.”