Today, WAAX releases their highly anticipated second studio album At Least I’m Freevia Dew Process. Awash in samples and programmed beats as well as gargantuan riffs and, of course, frontwoman Maz DeVita’s spine-tingling howl, At Least I’m Free telegraphs the band’s ambition to step beyond ‘Australian rock’ and into a weirder, wilder landscape. Following the release, the Meanjin based four-piece will perform a 22-date national album tour this October to December.
At Least I’m Free is paired with the genre-bending and standout new single No Doz, which was co-written with US rock superstar K.Flay, and captures the key-experimentation behind the record. “No Doz is about control. More specifically it’s about losing it. In the video I have no control in the shopping trolley. I am at the mercy of the band who is pushing me around. The video reflects the newer, fresher vibe that we were going for when writing No Doz. It’s filled with energy, reckless abandon and bursts of colour,” says DeVita.
WAAX will also make a record store appearance this afternoon at Sonic Sherpa in Brisbane, with an acoustic performance and signing copies of their new album At Least I’m Free. See below for full details.
You might consider At Least I’m Free as something like a second debut album for WAAX — a creative and emotional rebirth that’s resulted in some of the band’s finest, punchiest songs ever. The eleven track collection sees them teaming up with the production team behind their debut breakout album Big Grief – Bernard Fanning (Powderfinger) and Grammy Award-Winner Nick DiDia (Rage Against The Machine), as well a co-write with Linda Perry on Dangerous.
At Least I’m Free contains some of WAAX’s most vibrant, emotionally nuanced songs to date — scream-your-heart-out punk tracks that, nonetheless, are generous and empathic in a way that’s reflective of DeVita’s emotional state while she was writing the album. “I feel like with our last record, it was all ‘Fuck you’,” she says. The breakup that inspired this album, on the other hand, was due to faults on both sides — perfect fodder for some of DeVita’s most subtle, emotive songs to date. “I don’t want to hate people — I feel like as I’m getting older, I just don’t have the time to hold on to grudges.”
You can hear that kindness seeping through on songs like Read Receipts and Man Like Me, the latter song’s chorus of “I hope you learn to love yourself/I hope you find peace” providing one of the album’s most striking moments. And you can hear it, too, on the galvanizing Most Hated Girl, on which DeVita counters the outlandish self-laceration she would dole out as a 16-year-old while acknowledging the ways the system fails young women. Best of all is Same Bitch, a song that finds DeVita embracing the glorious messiness of her own personality, and was partially inspired by the unapologetic chaos of the stars of The Real Housewives of Melbourne: “Darling, you know me, I’m still that same bitch!”
WAAX has been to hell and back and, now, they’re charging forward — with clear eyes, a fighting spirit, and, most of all, the freedom they’ve always craved.