Albany has always had a diverse music scene. The Capitol Region has a way of nurturing countless acts and genres throughout the years and our city always seems to have a surprise up its sleeve. The biggest surprise in 2017 has been the release of Wavy Cunningham’s newest project, Welcome to the Wave. This endeavor showcases Wavy’s ear for samples and his ability to paint a story. Ever eloquent, Wavy shows us that he can be the light of the party.
Wavy’s most ambitious project yet starts with Sunrays, a calypso-inspired introduction track whose chorus echoes the theme that persists throughout the album, “518, if you didn’t know you know now.” He peppers his storytelling with various local references and a sound that encompasses the feel of the State Capitol. This is apparent in his upbeat manifesto, ‘Welcome to the Wave,’ which is a prime example of how Wavy can balance the tempo, timbre, bass and rhythm of a track while spinning a yarn to the listener.
The most impressive aspect of Wavy is the sheer number of genres he uses in his samples. Two shining examples of this are the incredible Barry White sample in ‘Back on the Scene’ and the Bob Marley vibe surrounding ‘Montego Bay’. However, Wavy is able to move past relying on popular samples by creating his own atmosphere which permeates the album. ’Bout Me’ possesses a striking West Coast influence while maintaining Wavy’s Northeast attitude and the angelic track, ‘Ain’t Fo Sho’ flourishes while Wavy floats amongst syllables.
Welcome to the Wave shows that hip-hop is alive and well in Albany. This is the perfect summertime album and while we may be in the depths of winter, don’t be surprised if the next 518 party you attend has Wavy playing in the background.
Key Tracks: Sunrays, Welcome to the Wave, Aint fo Sho