Trumpet Blossom to host psych-rockers Holy Wave

Holy Wave perform at the 2014 SXSW festival. -- photo by Gina Pina
Holy Wave perform at the 2014 SXSW festival. — photo by Gina Pina

Although this year’s Firecracker 500 Fest is now in the rear-view mirror, there are still plenty of amazing garage and psych rock acts passing through Iowa City this summer. Holy Wave from Austin, Texas, for instance, will be playing this Thursday at Trumpet Blossom with local rock n’ roll fixtures Rusty Buckets and Maiden Mars. The show costs $5 and starts at 9:15 p.m.

Holy Wave have carved out a compelling niche in the psych-rock world. Their commitment towards hazy, reverb-coated production is unparalleled and it leads them to use fidelity as a song-writing tool, rather than a limitation. Take their latest album, the impeccably-named Relax. For the most part, it’s full of heavy-lidded, slightly-stoned psych songs, but when bright, writhing guitars appear out of nowhere on their excellent single “Star Stamp,” it’s both exciting and revelatory.

On the other end of the spectrum, Holy Wave is also able to embrace the limits of lo-fidelity. Album stand-out, “Sol Love,” breaks down in just two and a half minutes, taking trite lyrics and surf guitars and warbling them into a wonderful jangle of white noise.

They’ve also got a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek approach to honoring their influences, with song titles like “Night Tripper” and “Surfin’ MTA,” paying homage to the Beatles and the Beach Boys respectively. The Beach Boys are definitely the key reference point for Holy Wave — but with their dark and hazy turns, Holy Wave seems more interested in the storm clouds than the sunshine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.


Enjoy a tasting and drinks from the best chefs the area has to offer!

Presented by

Join us Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m.
@ Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.



America’s intimate festival experience featuring cutting-edge music, the Midwest’s premier indie book fair, and readings and community happenings across downtown Iowa City.