September 24, 2021

New Fury Media

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Hurtwave enchant with debut EP, Night Therapy I (review)

Hurtwave, a synthwave act comprised of two members of post-hardcore standouts Dayseeker, have finally released the entirety of their debut EP, Night Therapy I. The duo have been releasing each track every few months since last year, and with final single “Overdose”, the EP is out to the world.

We had a chance to speak with vocalist Rory Rodriguez a few months back when less than a handful of tracks were around – it was clear that Hurtwave was less a side project, and more of a passion from Rodriguez and fellow Dayseeker drummer Mike Karle. In fact, it was four years in the making – I remarked that I saw teasers for first track “Sever” all the way back in 2018 before it released in 2020. So, how does Night Therapy I pan out?

The rollout for the Hurtwave EP was quite unique. Most bands will release two or three singles for EPs or even entire albums, but Hurtwave chose to slow-drip listeners with each and every song getting the spotlight for a few months before April 30th saw the seventh and final piece. It’s a testament that the two felt that each track was worthy to stand on its own, with no weak links present. The best part? It rang true, as each song is sitting pretty with at least 100k listens on Spotify before “Overdose” completed the pack.

Fans of Dayseeker should consider Hurtwave essential listening, as it utilizes a lot of the same techniques for Rodriguez’s vocals, such as haunting harmonies, high-reaching choruses, and his tradeoff of soft/delicate and shouting/punishing vocal runs. Backed by Karle’s cohesion with multi-layered synth/R&B elements, sax solos in two tracks, and a duet in “New Year’s Eve”, it’s rewarding to listen to Night Therapy I from start to finish. Forlorn lyricism will resonate with heartbroken listeners as anthems to lean on in disheartening times – the band branded their singles as “doses” of Night Therapy for a purpose.

The highest points of the EP include the final, harrowing chorus of “Fever Dream”, the instrumental buildup within “Black and Blue”, and Landon Tewers’ fit-like-a-glove feature in “Overdose” – the earlier 2021 collab between the two in Tewers’ “Kill Me” is paying dividends for listeners. There’s no shortage of goosebump-inducing moments that kept me coming back to Night Therapy releases the past few months.

Night Therapy I is a rare breed where each song is as good as the one before it – something you can belt out in the shower, in the car, anywhere. Hurtwave received just as much work and love from Rodriguez and Karle as any Dayseeker release, and they should feel both proud of its quality and relieved that after years of waiting to unleash it, it’s finally out to everyone. Rodriguez stated in our interview that “I think Mike and I will keep writing music like this for a long, long time. Let’s just say 100 (releases of Night Therapy) and see how far we get.” I sure hope this is the case, as Night Therapy I is pure listening bliss.

Rating: 10/10

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