“The world has missed Waver Racer” Dancing Astronaut
“It’s time to welcome back Wave Racer and his playful sounds.” triple j
“[On “Auto”]… the sticky-candy synths and guitars of a robotic sing-along” Billboard
“‘Auto’ and ‘Summer Rain’, his follow-up release with Kwame, both feature many of the twinkling, sugary sounds we expect from Wave Racer.” Junkee
[On ‘Left Behind’…] “Wave Racer‘s real vocals are centre stage, delivering raw and vulnerable lyrics over spacious production to let the triumphant, almost-defiant message of refusing to be kept down after a break up really shine through.” Purple Sneakers
“[Left Behind] is a very very good pop song.” Porter Robinson
Today, Wave Racer adds a rush of bubbly pop to No Rome’s ‘Seventeen’, a melancholic ode to failed romances of teenage years. No Rome and Wave Racer recently performed as part of Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky Festival.
On the track, Wave Racer says, “No Rome is an artist I’ve admired for a while. There’s real poetry in his lyrics and elegance to his production, and the songs he makes are so beautifully crafted. Recording this cover was kind of like studying for me. I wanted to break the song apart and discover for myself what made it beautiful, then build it back together again with my own set of tools and techniques. I was also trying to find confidence in my own voice, and this song sits right in my range and came out very naturally as I started playing around with the melody, so I could perform it with confidence and authenticity. I’ve never made anything like this before, so it challenged my skill set, but was also extremely validating to have created a version of this song that I think works really well.”
In retrospect, Purcell sees his anxieties bubbling up since first finding success as a 21-year-old, when he uploaded tracks ‘Rock U Tonite’ and ‘Stoopid’ to SoundCloud on a whim under the name Wave Racer — an ode to a Nintendo 64 classic that captured the songs’ sunny, pixelated optimism.
Soon after, he was touring non-stop internationally and was considered a leading producer of ‘future bass’, an electronica genre trading in nostalgia, 808s and twinkling, hyper-speed beats. He won praise from Skrillex, Porter Robinson and Flume, remixing the latter as well as the likes of Foster The People and Tkay Maidza.
“I don’t think I was ready for any of that,” he says. ”I’m normally very cautious with the decisions that I make… I thought I was managing the attention at the time but I wasn’t coping very healthily. I was so worried about how people were going to perceive me if I made one wrong step. It was a recipe for anxiety.”
In 2019, Wave Racer returned with ‘AUTO’, his first original release since 2015 EP Flash Drive — and his first with new label Astral People Recordings, marking their first release. A glitchy, vocoder-infused meta-pop ballad, the song sees Purcell fight through the mechanical expectations to constantly release music and play the role of a party-starting DJ.
Soon after, he released collaborative tracks ‘Summer Rain’ with triple j favourite Kwame, ‘This N That’ with LunchMoney Lewis and the sonic rush of ‘Higher’, co-produced by PC Music’s Danny L Harle (Charli XCX, Rina Sawayama).
‘Seventeen’ is out now on Astral People Recordings / [PIAS].