I had conflicting feelings about the artist name mike rowave, mainly about myself since I didn’t notice it was a gag name until about a minute into “peace pipe.” Turns out it was the perfect time to realize this, because “peace pipe” is a somewhat ironic and conflicting song. Initially, it pulls you in sounding like a lowkey beach anthem with lyrics like “We all just wanna feel good / We’re all just having some fun,” but you soon realize there’s a hollow melancholy in these lyrics that may not reflect someone feeling all that great.

This push and pull is a highlight of mike rowave’s only released song. Described in his bio as “spacey art-pop,” there’s a lot more than meets the eye with this music. It’s downtempo and catchy indie pop without the overt idealism. Take the phrase, “And if we’re still up for the sunrise / Then we know everything is alright / We’re packing peace pipes.” The cliché ingredients for summery bliss are here–a sunrise, being around friends, smoking on the beach–but the stripped down music and dissociated vocal delivery allude more to a faux happiness. A time where you feel like you should be happier than you really are.

“peace pipe” does such a great job at subverting expectations and mixing a familiar sound with a less familiar writing topic. Sure, this song sounds amazing in a purely happy context too, but it’s even more intriguing when you hear it through the lens of yearning for a peace that isn’t attained quite yet.

Connect with mike rowave on Instagram


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Zach Aumuellerhttp://zachaum.com
Record producer, mix engineer, writer from NYC