Wayward Waves – Realm Of Lustre

 Wayward Waves – Realm Of Lustre

Wayward Waves – Realm Of Lustre – EP Review

Justine Painter, you my friend, are a true inspiration.

What a kickass story behind this amazing music!  Imagine spending your days as a C.F.O., or some other kind of office job for years and years as a career, wondering if maybe, just maybe, you were cut out for something else entirely all along.  This is essentially, the abbreviated tale of Justine – and shared by many of us around the world in fact.  There are so many people out there around the globe that have the potential and capacity to create INCREDIBLE ART in some way, shape, or form – and yet, we’re almost all encouraged by our parents, the notions of safety & security, or simply to follow the economic path that would take us in a completely different direction.  Most of us choose to go that route – as a few of you regular readers know, I did too at one point – I was a mighty production supervisor (of what was basically commercialized laundry – definitely nothing glamorous), I was a manager (of a video store, calm down, don’t get excited) – and I’ve had tons of jobs in between along the way from janitorial work, straight on through to positions at book binderies, journalism, customer service, custodial visitation supervision, pizza delivery…the list goes on and on and on if I’m being truthful, as it does for many of us.

In fact, when my career at sleepingbagstudios here felt like it was completely coming to a halt, I ended up back in the world of the 9-5, taking on one of the grossest jobs I ever had, all in an effort to make myself mad enough at ME, to shake me out of my waking slumber & start taking things more seriously.  To start taking LIFE more seriously…and to figure out what it was I truly wanted out of this one experience I get to be conscious of.  It definitely wasn’t that job…I was cleaning a restaurant from top to bottom every night after hours and it was 100% horrifying…but in the end, provided the motivation that I needed to break outta the matrix once & for all, take the real leap forward that I needed to, and here we are I suppose.  When it gets too much for us, we jump…and in the process, we eventually realize that there is a safety net of some kind below us…usually it’s built out of happiness and true self-satisfaction.  Leaving behind what we know or what we’re programmed to do is never an easy task, but it can certainly become the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever be a part of…and you’ll feel a justified level of pride you didn’t even know could exist, in a world that you now actively want to participate in.  I can only imagine how amazing it must have felt for Justine to leave behind the working world & office towers & meetings & phone calls & all that business stuff in favor of pursuing a second career that draws entirely from the artistic side of herself that’s been stuck on hold throughout the years gone by; in a word, I imagine it feels FREE.  This next chapter of her story, is one that she’s the author of – it’s all original, all by her own design, all suited to the desires, wants, and yes NEEDS of a person that’s been trapped behind a form of glass, staring out at a different version of herself that could have existed – and now here we are…and it does.  Congratulations Justine – we’ve been waiting for you to join us all along.

I’ll tell ya what I didn’t expect however…which was that the music would sound THIS good, and THIS professional & ready to roll straight out to the masses.  Good gravy-boat lighthouse – she must have surprised herself with what she’s created!  Again…my regular readers (all six & a half of them) know that if I’ve got something to say, I’m just gonna say it…and if I had any advice for Justine, I’d have no problem writing all that down here for her to learn from…but the fact is, she’s had the magic of music inside her all along.  The reality is, that now that she’s given herself the opportunity to let it out into the world, we can stand back, listen, recognize the magic, and realize that THIS is where she’s always been meant to be – Justine HAS been an artist all her life; she just needed the right moment to reveal it – and here we are.

I’d bet she felt it, back when she took on a side-gig as a professional Belly Dancer for a while there…or even before that when she was a fitness dance instructor during her college years in the 80s…the signs have always been there all along, haven’t they Justine?  She knew then what she knows now for sure – that music flows right from our ears to the soul & back again…it’s something we truly feel surge right through us, ain’t it?  I listen to a track like “Elixir Of Belief” that starts out her latest EP called Realm Of Lustre, and I can’t help but feel it too; it’s the sound of someone that genuinely has music within them…the sound of someone that has ALWAYS had the music within them, just waiting for the chance & opportunity to come out.  There are no rookie mistakes or missteps…there is passion, there is heart, there is PURPOSE – and it’s all something we can hear.  While there might only be whispers and scattered vocal samples threaded throughout this opening track, it’s more than clear that this is an artist that has something to SAY through her music…it’s comforting…it’s authentic…it’s real…and it’s truly beautiful to experience.  THIS is the Justine that has always existed, just waiting for that moment where life would slow down enough for her so that she could speed into the next chapter of her story…and I can’t even begin to fully express just how grateful I am that she’s now able to share this incredible talent of hers with the world.  For real y’all – have a listen for yourself and you’ll know exactly what I’ve been ranting and raving about here – “Elixir Of Belief” sounds impeccably FLAWLESS and remarkably engaging…if there’s something that should be changed, believe me, I ain’t hearing it.  This is what it sounds like to listen to an artist that has truly found their way to where they’ve always belonged…Justine was 100% meant to make music.  A song like “Elixir Of Belief” is experimentally courageous, wonderfully ambitious, and professional by every conceivable definition…this is the kind of inherent talent that can’t possibly stay secret forever.  “Just opened up my eyes…see what I can do in life…there must be a road that I can take…” – that one quote, pretty much tells you everything you need to know, and everything I’ve been trying to say here myself…thematically, its emblematic of where Justine has been, and where she’s heading to next in her new life as an artist.  This whole vibe in “Elixir Of Belief” sounds inspired – SHE sounds ready for the road ahead, wherever it may lead her.  She should be significantly proud of what she’s already accomplished in breaking free into the artistic realm – one spin through “Elixir Of Belief” confirms this is where she should be, where she belongs, where she’s got a vision & a voice through her music that’ll be heard for an eternity.  To say I’m impressed would be the understatement of the year – I’m genuinely floored.

Passion comes with dedication, naturally.  When you’re interested, invested, and engaged with what those passions in your life are, you pay attention to even the tiniest of details…because EVERYTHING matters, as it should.  I suppose above all things, that’s what I hear in the music of Wayward Waves – the level of detail in Justine’s music is mesmerizing, enchanting…and exciting!  Like…in many ways, she’s completely beating the odds – the shortest track on Realm Of Lustre is just shy of SEVEN MINUTES!  Do y’all realize what that equates to in a NORMAL scenario?  There SHOULD be moments where we get BORED…there SHOULD be moments where you can hear Justine TRYING to find her way, STRUGGLING for the ability to do what she wants to do with her music, and NONE OF THAT is even remotely present!  Take ANY of these three songs for a spin, and I can promise ya, all you’ll discover is pure passion on display, endlessly adventurous music that’ll open up your mind’s eye, and sonic tapestries that speak straight to the soul…there are no FLAWS – this is art & music that was meant to EXIST.  I love the sleek design of cross-cultural sound a song like “Lunar Mirage” has…I love the incredible fluidity we find for a song that’s as creatively-inclined as this is…Justine’s making music with award-worthy levels of accessibility for the type of genres you’d find her ending up within.  I suppose you could call it like, Progressive Electro…something along those lines I guess…but you get the point – all those awkward phases of an artist’s evolution are nowhere to be found – and I truly believe that speaks volumes on behalf of the determination & conviction in this artist we’ve got here.  Justine set her mind to doing something new, something challenging, and she chose to do it RIGHT by giving it everything she’s got – we could all stand to take a page out of her playbook when you hear how stellar the results are from the effort she’s put in.  This is all indeed, a labor of love; it’s like she’s fulfilling some strange sonic prophecy!  I get out of bed each and every day hoping to find this kind of remarkable creativity that’s beyond any words I could possibly write…Wayward Waves has got that vibe of being light-years ahead of the rest.

This whole EP has consistently amazed me for the past couple weeks…I know I’m writing a ton here, and ranting like a literal lunatic, but that’s a reflection of how excited I truly AM!  From the music to the production itself, the ideas to the execution…no stone has been left unturned in making this exploratory odyssey worth every second of the trip it’ll take you on.  It’s like Wayward Waves has the exact right amount of…well…EVERYTHING?  And how is that even possible?  How, at this stage of her career as an artist, is that even POSSIBLE?  I’m genuinely asking you, the universe, Justine…anyone’s free to fill in the gap for me…because by all accounts & measures, what you’ll hear on Realm Of Lustre is spectacularly RARE.  For a style of music that isn’t centered around what any of us would consider to be the typical kind of hooks we’d hear on the radio, for things to have come out as irresistibly addictive as they DO on this EP…I mean…it’s breathtaking y’all.  The balance of strengths, is impeccable…which I suppose is why I haven’t really gone too far into explaining this or that in the details of each song’s DNA – across the board, this whole set of three songs is so sensationally well-balanced that it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite.  They will ALL be your favorite song…or at the very least, each track will make a viable attempt to BE your favorite song on this EP, and every one of them could easily qualify.  “Edge Of Infinity” probably has the most chance of becoming the song that might connect the most with the listeners out there I’d imagine…fundamentally, it’s almost like a friendly-version of Nine Inch Nails…that’s the depth of the groove you’ll find and the professionalism in the mix itself.  It’s got a bit more of an upbeat thread at the core of it all I guess…as opposed to the more dedicated exploratory & culturally adventurous sounds we’ve experienced on the other two songs in this set of three.  Anyhow…I’m sure you all GET IT by now – Realm Of Lustre is a trip in music that you MUST take this year…2022 couldn’t be considered complete without it!  Justine has fully tapped into something undeniably special with her music in Wayward Waves…and if it’s THIS AMAZING right from the get-go…just imagine how incredible it’s going to get over the years to follow now that she’s embraced her talent, her purpose, and her passion.  This is the kind of record I feel authentically honored to have listen to…the kind you stand up & cheer for when it’s all over, and rush right back over to your stereo system to give it another spin as quickly as you can.

Find out everything you can about Wayward Waves at the official links below!

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLKeDEJ007tH72qEAiAzmAA

Bandcamp:  https://waywardwaves.bandcamp.com

Magical Multi-link:  https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/waywardwaves/realm-of-lustre

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/5jaN1mTyYTy74mxlwC9dVT

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/waywardwaves0122

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"I’m passionate about what I do, and just as passionate about what YOU do. Together, we can get your music into the hands of the people that should have it. Let’s create something incredible."

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