Ivory Wave: On bath salts and the meaning behind their latest single “Cool Kids”

Uninhibited by the confines of genre, Birmingham-based Ivory Wave creates a danceable, funky sound like no other. The five-piece sought to combine hip-hop and dance music together. Lead vocalist George Johnson explained that this objective led to the birth of the band. Johnson’s and bassist Luke Morris’ love for both hip hop and indie music comes into play. Guitarist Connor McMinn has a love for pop. “We often find ourselves listening to grime in the van on the way to shows,” laughs Johnson, “it’s a really mixed bag.”

The diversity in Ivory Wave’s music tastes is audible in their sound. A new element is brought to the table in every new release. From disco to funk to classic rock, Ivory Wave revives the best of each era and places their own indie-dance twist on it.

Their latest release, Cool Kids, features synthesized horns, a punchy bassline, and a catchy chorus that begs to be sung along to. “Cool Kids is about standing up for yourself,” says Johnson, “being able to think for yourself and being able to wear what you want and being able to believe what you want. It’s about not listening to other people and making your own opinions on things.”

Most rewarding for the band is acknowledgement of their unique musical pursuits from the Twang, who Ivory wave toured with. “They’re a really big influence on the band so it was amazing for us to walk off the stage and have Phil Etheridge stood at the side of the stage saying ‘well done lads you smashed it tonight.’ It was crazy,” recalls Johnson.

“When we were beginning the band, me and Luke were in a pub and we were thinking of names to call the band,” said Johnson. “We overheard someone talking about ‘Ivory Wave.’ We both looked at each other in a bit of a ‘eureka’ moment and said that’s it, let’s call ourselves Ivory Wave… It was only afterwards we discovered it was a bath salt.”


Photo courtesy of Ivory Wave


Published by Maria Bocci

NYU class of 2019. Majoring in Media, Culture, and Communication and Journalism.

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