tsunami soul i: a beachy album to get you through the winter


from bakersfield, california in 2014, five friends came together in a variety of ways to create a band called hate drugs. they started out making music togetherfor fun and have been consistently creating and releasing music since their first soundcloud ep. made up of two brothers and three friends, their close connections show in their smooth blend of instrumental and vocal styles.

with soft vocals and crisp guitar, you feel transported to a beach through the lens of a grainy film camera with each note they hit. each time i hit play on their spotify, it’s almost as if i can feel the sunscreen on my cheeks and the waves underneath me. they remind me of a relaxed, heavier version of the beach boys.

keeping with their theme that started in 2017, hate drugs recently released another piece of the tsunami soul story. this time contrasting with their previous defining color of icy blue, to a hot, vibrant red.


tsunami soul i finds and takes many emotions and presents them on a platter in front of you. from longing to desperation, to love, each song individually gives you a piece of what the band was feeling the moment they wrote it. you can choose to focus and feel the words, or you also have the option of lighter listening while you do other things. either way, the album captures you and takes you to somewhere you’ve never been.

“drowsy” prepares you for what you can expect to hear throughout the entirety of the tsunami soul i album. a lyric-less song lasting only a minute and four seconds crescendos from soft and breezy to an end that alludes to the head-bop-abilities contained within what is to come.

next, taking its place as the first song with lyrical components, “out of touch” begins with a perfect segue from “drowsy.” keeping in line with their beachy persona, the song has references to many sea-related topics sprinkled throughout. it focuses on missing being “young and out of touch.” out of touch makes you think about childhood and how much easier many things were when you did not have to focus on anything other than what existed in your surroundings. when you could simply wake up and play pretend without worrying about love or life or anything else out there in the world.

a little later comes my personal favorite, “so cruel.” beginning with the sounds of a voicemail, the song depicts desperation. the lyrics describe wanting to spend time with someone while knowing the person does not reciprocate that want. it talks of friends wondering why anyone would want so badly to waste their time on someone “so cruel.”

the second lyric-less song comes later with the name “helen.” starting out with a recording of the band exploring a room that we can assume is filled with different unique instruments and going into an almost chaotic compilation of the instruments being played together. helen brings a curious and almost jazzy feel, something new as a short break from the other songs.

i can see it brings a floaty feeling to the album. the song talks of dreaming about someone, and it brings a dreamlike feeling with it. the soft blend of everything proves itself to be a wonder combined with headphones and closed eyes.

tasked with closing the album, “k. bye” does so with a brief recreation of the band’s 2015 song “hellow.” this is a sweet ending to a beautiful album.

i finish this with the hope that the small taste of tsunami soul i penned here will motivate you to discover the rest of the album. the bits i did not mention here. i wanted to leave something for you to experience in your own way. listen to it in its entirety and find your favorite song. it’s in there somewhere.

thinkpiecesErin Shields