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As Wavves, Nathan Williams likes the music messy

March 21, 2009 |  6:39 am

The one-man band writes, performs and records his songs with abandon. If it's melody you want, you'll have to work for it.


Reclining on a sofa outside the modest structure that sits behind his parents' San Diego home, Nathan Williams, the 22-year-old musician who records under the name Wavves, is halfway through a six-pack of late-afternoon beers. Popular indie music scene lore has held that he lives and works out of a pool house, but truth be told, there's no pool.

"It's a shack in the back," he concedes.

Williams has been making music as Wavves for only a little more than a year, recording inside that cramped shack. But he's managed to generate plenty of interest -- partially by posting his songs for free on his Ghost Ramp blog, which he started as an avenue to talk about rap music after quitting his job at a record store.

Among the revitalized lo-fi rock community, Wavves has emerged as a standout for his raw, jittery sound, comprised of guitar, drums and heavy distortion that often masks Williams' vocals, rendering them unintelligible.

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-- Eric Ducker

Photo: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times