San Francisco band Hot Flash Heat Wave sounds a lot like their name; their music feels like shimmers of heat rising off a sizzling sidewalk on a hundred-degree day, giving off a dreamy, jangly, hazy vibe. Members Adam Abildgaard, Ted Davis, Nathaniel Blüm, and Nick Duffy first met in high school, and they share writing and vocalist duties, taking inspiration from rock and indie names like the Beach Boys and Toro y Moi. After releasing albums in 2015 and 2017, the band came back with a single off their latest EP, Mood Ring.
“Head in the Clouds” came out in December, making it the third single that the band released in 2018. The song is dreamy and psychedelic, evoking Tame Impala with its spacey-synthy bass line and hypnotic vocals. At the track’s climax, drummer Nick Duffy takes off on an energetic drum line, cranking up the energy under a jamming guitar run before the song fades to a chill, kaleidoscopic coda. The lyrics match the music’s warm, chilled-out sound, perfectly capturing the fuzzy feeling of boredom, laziness, and distraction. “I just get high and lay in my bed… Came around, head in the clouds again.” It might be cold and wet outside, but “Head in the Clouds” feels like a little slice of summer, reminding us that winter is near its close. If you need to warm up, you can listen here.
On February 15th, Hot Flash Heat Wave dropped their EP Mood Ring, a seventeen-minute confection of jangle-pop including “Head in the Clouds.” The rest of the songs, while not always in the same vein as “Head in the Clouds,” work to sell their own versions of dreaming. They’re currently touring to promote the EP; to see them live, find their tour dates here.