Nuu Wave – Initiation. (Group Review)

Matthew Donald “EVO” -MC, Gabriella Aragon – Vocals/Trombone, Adam Hureau – Saxophone, James Tanner Carter – Saxophone, Joel Roeber – Guitar, Joe Ballestrasse – Bass, Hunter Thompson – Drums, Maggie Quinlan – Singer/Songwriter, Alexander Lowe – Drums

Group Review from KZUU of Nuu Wave’s Initiation – EP:

KZUU has diverse interests in music that range from Indie to Hip/Hop. Loud Rock to EDM. Or World Music to Jazz. That’s why the Music Directors for the station are committed to curating music for the listeners. KZUU sorts through the endless amount of music, so the listeners are listening to quality non-commercial music. Because KZUU has different tastes in music, it was important to speak as one voice, regardless of genre, and give insight from all corners of music. What follows is KZUU’s first ‘Group’ review of a local band from right here in Pullman Washington. Please see what our directors have to say about Nuu Wave’s first EP – ‘Initiation’

Tania Vargas – World Music Director: Early September, Nuu Wave came out with their new EP, Initiation, the anticipation was just the beginning. Going into the album, after listening to clips posted online & watching Nuu Wave live at the KZUU House Show earlier in the year in May, I couldn’t wait to listen to what they have come out with. With the help of Raul E. Blanco, a graduate student at Washington State University, who composed many great jazz pieces with his band, Raul E. Blanco & Jazz Wires fun fact Gabriella Aragon is a part of! Nuu Wave brought a lot of funk, fresh new beats, amazing solos, vocals that fill the soul, and lyrics that will entrance you. Before Initiation was released, ‘That Vibe’ was the biggest collaboration Nuu Wave had recorded with so many great musicians who showcased what they got:

Matthew Donald’s rap skills were tested with the beats that are presented in this EP, but nothing can truly take away his passion that is expressed in both ‘That Vibe’ & ‘Soul Cry’ and killed it! Joel Roeber’s guitar skills are honestly. . . even until now I am speechless because it is that amazing, don’t believe me check out in ‘Soul Cry’ as he goes all out.  With this EP things get slow in the last two tracks, ‘Caught Up’ & ‘Soul Cry’, showing off the skills the band has been working on, through these tracks you feel the passion Nuu Wave has for their future and knowing they are on the right track towards their goal of sharing music. All I can say this was a very experimental EP & not once was I disappointed but impressed & worth sharing. Nuu Wave means business with the way they presented themselves on this EP & to that, I say “Bravo!”

Shane Mulligan – Music Director: KZUU as a station got its first look at Nuu Wave in the spring of 2019. Their presence was upbeat and exciting. I personally was intrigued to see if their live shows would match up to their studio debut. Upon listening to Nuu Wave’s: ‘Initiation’, I am thrilled they delivered on multiple fronts. Joel, Gabriella, James, Hunter, and Alex still offer that jam band back and forth in the background while Matthew Donald fronts the group. There is depth to lyrics in ‘Soul Cry’ which suggests that real-life hits harder than you expect every single day. I look forward to Nuu Wave to bringing these songs to a live set and maturing their sound for future songs.

Caroline Lasko – Indie Music Director: Nuu Wave’s 2019 EP, Initiation, is a strong start for their first music available on streaming platforms. The variety of horns, synth, drums, and what-not else makes for an interesting set of songs with intricate layering. It holds a sort of refreshing, raw local band sound, but with good production and solid, impactful lyrics (especially Soul Cry). I’d say the standouts of the album were the opener and closer: Snakes and Soul Cry.

Jett Vreeman – Indie Music Director: I’m quite stunned by Nuu Wave’s, ‘Initiation’ release. This album featured an interesting and different outlook that I’d love to see more of. Normally I’d have a couple of songs to pick for my friends/others to listen to, but all around ‘Initiation’ impressed. As I type this review, I’m listening to the album again, what attracts me most is the difference/variation in beats and their complexity. The lead singer is complimented nicely by the ensemble of musicians as well as the backup singer. I look forward to seeing where this band goes as they continue music.

Mari Lozana – Loud Rock Music Director: Nuu Wave’s new Initiation EP offers a fun combination elements of hip-hop and jazz. It creates an exciting and unique listening experience A track that really stands out to me is “The Vibe” which both fun and upbeat. I would definitely recommend checking out this EP and support the Pullman local music scene.

Flint Lidar – Indie Music Director: I was excited to hear “Initiation” by Nuu Wave, given I had seen their electric live performances and was intrigued by their sound and arrangements. While I don’t believe that “Initiation” fully captures the same energy that they provide during their live shows, this EP was still a fun listen – particularly “Snakes” and “Soul Cry”. I look forward to hearing how these guys develop and hone their sound in the coming years.

Derek Henderson – Indie Music Director: This album is really fun, and it’s cool that some students here are doing something like this. The rapping usually meshes with the jazz instrumentals well, but sometimes the rap parts aren’t really my thing. Like the callouts that can distract from a cool instrumental section. I really like the funky bits from the first track, Snakes.

Brianna Halter – Indie Music Director: The Nuu Wave EP is a discernible blend of jazz, rock, and rap that fuses cohesively together to create a really fresh sound. The closing track is a hidden gem. The lyrics on ‘Soul Cry’ prove to be as impacting as they are important. This is an impressive start to what is sure to be a very long discography.

Ryan White – Indie Music Director: At first I didn’t really like the sound, but the second time I listened, I dug it. I especially liked the funky beats and background pianos. 

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