Starlight Riot Releases Smiling Waves

Released in January 2019, Smiling Waves is Starlight Riot's fourth studio album, second with the group's new line up. Milwaukee natives Josh Lukkes (guitar, vocals), Brandi Liantonio (bass, vocals) and David Robinson (drums, vocals) tracked the album Sept-Dec 2019 in Josh's Rock N Roll Library studio.

Smiling Waves takes its name from the lyrics by David Robinson in "Well Well Well." The song's chorus reflects on the resignation of living in Trump's America - "things can happen, smiling waves / pulling me under, well well well." Hopelessness mingles with a sense of relief, the waves wash us away, carrying us to the next stop in life, wherever that may be.

The twelve songs on Smiling Waves break down into three unique EPs. Each band member wrote the lyrics and sang lead on four songs apiece, while providing backing vocals on the other tracks. Each EP features two songs from one band member, with one track each added from the other members. The Slide EP features Brandi Liantonio on "Slide" and "Sad Song." David is featured on the Well Well Well EP, with "Well Well Well" and "Get Out My Way." Josh is featured on the Shadows EP, with "Shadows" and "Giving It All Away."

With influences ranging from the Pixies to Green Day, The Replacements, and Smashing Pumpkins, Starlight Riot is firmly planted in the indie rock/power pop tradition, but is not afraid to try things from different genres. "Musically, we like to see where we can take 3 people, 3 chords, and some harmonies," said Robinson. "Our songs run the gamut, from straight up punk to metal to thoughtful melodies."

This is Starlight Riot's fourth album, the first to feature all three members and their unique style. "This album really shows us at our most vulnerable," said Lukkes. "We each brought our own ideas and passion to this album. On paper, none of these songs go together, but somehow, they all do."

Smiling Waves tracks

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    Slide 2:28
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