Local post-punk band Weep Wave haven't released a record since their angsty and anxious 2019 debut, but that doesn't mean they've been MIA. 

When I asked singer/guitarist Dylan Fuentes where the band's been all this time, he said, "Oh, we've been here, lol. We put out S.A.D. at the beginning of 2019, went on a big ass tour, played some festivals, opened for some bigger bands, we were doing the damn thing and then COVID shut everything down for almost three years! I think our last show before COVID was at Southgate Roller Rink a week before everything shut down.

"Quarantine was such a weird time to be in a band. Playing live and going on tour is what it's all about for me. I feel the most alive when I'm on the road with my best friends playing in a new city every night. The OG lineup formed around 2016 and most bands have a shelf life of 2-3 years. This newest version of the band got together toward the end of quarantine and we started playing shows again as soon as we were allowed to, but we basically had to build back all that momentum."

In April Weep Wave will release Speck, their long-awaited follow-up to S.A.D., and today The Stranger is honored to premiere the video for the album's first single "Rebirth Mantra." The song begins as a charging anthem about identity—Fuentes sings with a dry, borderline sarcastic tone, "It comes back around again / Memories from a distant lifetime / Or maybe one you haven't seen yet / They call it deja vu."

But what initially feels like an eyeroll at the notion of personal growth then shifts into a spacey, melodic meditation on embracing the opportunity to evolve. "This time I'll be more courageous / Caring and empathetic," Fuentes promises. "I'll act without hesitation / I am present and without fear."

A pretty fitting theme, really. For the band, for all of us.

Watch the video below and then read on to learn a little more from Fuentes about what the band has been up to for the past half a decade. 

You can pre-order Speck on pretty black, white, and pink splatter vinyl via CorpoRAT Records here.

Can you talk a little bit about the lyrics/inspiration behind the song? Rebirth is a big theme! But I feel like it’s one that a lot of people can relate to, especially right now as we slowly (oh so very slowly) claw our way out of the pile of rubble or whatever’s left of the world as we knew it after, well, everything. Where were you mentally when you were experiencing or observing this sense of or desire for rebirth that inspired the song?

I think a lot of people think about how they would live their lives differently if they could do a total restart on their lives or if they got a second chance at a big key moment in their life. This song is the mantra of how I'd want to live my life differently or the person I'd want to be if I got that chance. It's also a reminder that you don't have to go back to the beginning to make big positive changes in your life and it's never too late to become the best version of yourself.

Weep Wave's album Speck will be out April 5 on CorpoRAT Records.

Speaking of rebirth, if you could be reincarnated as any animal, what animal would it be and why?

If I was reborn as an animal I'd want to come back as the laziest orange cat that ever existed. I would lay in the sun and do absolutely nothing all day, every day.

I hear some Al Burian/Challenger vibes in the chorus. Challenger, I think, is vastly underrated! Am I imagining things?

I actually don't know either of those artists, lol, but I'm all about music/lyrics that are angsty/angry/heavy paired up against introspective/vulnerable/soft flavors. It's a juxtaposition that I really dig lately.

What other artists and genres inspired this new chapter of Weep Wave?

Lately I've been listening to a lot of heavy '80s rock, Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, jazzy stuff like Bruno Pernadas, those cool Japanese city pop record comps that Light in the Attic keeps putting out, and that new synthy Osees album that no one seems to like, haha.

Preorder Speck on pink, white, and black splattered vinyl from CorpoRAT Records here.

Weep Wave's album release party is Friday, April 5 at Sunset Tavern.

You can also catch them at Clock-Out Lounge February 9 with Spirit Mother and Kadabra.