Jan 30, 2023
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Mark Dillon
Sacramento-based quartet Güero thrives on camaraderie and chemistry, a mercurial combination the band first introduced in 2018 with their debut self-titled record. That first album brought forth winding acoustic efforts and extended psych jams, offering a fluid sound that subtly shifts with each track. It’s easy to hear the band playing off each other’s cues, both on their debut and on their 2020 follow-up, Hank. Later this year, the band are set to share their sophomore full-length album, Wednesdays, which once again sees the band pushing in new directions as they incorporate into the mix elements of jazz, celestial folk, and even doo-wop.
Today, accompanying the record’s announcement, the band are back with their new single, “Streams of Light,” premiering with Under the Radar.
With “Streams of Light,” the band leans into dreamy vintage influences, conjuring a track tinged with classic ‘60s vocals harmonies, charming doo-wop rhythms, and a sunny surf pop sheen. It plays like a lost classic reemerging from a forgotten corner of the radio, yet the band also brings their own timeless touches to the track, shading its melodies in hints of rose-colored nostalgia. The band evokes a long-gone era without getting lost within it, all while their lyrics trace a heartwarming romance amidst the swaying drumbeat and longing melodies. The band’s imagery is equally classic, evoking open roads and wandering love-struck nights: “Golden nights you know it’s time to go / Drivin down another open road / Flyin kites sitting there in the sky / Wandering together in the cold.”
As the band explains, “This song really has that doo-wop vibe, like Sam Cooke, The Ronnettes, etc. Russell always loved those songs, so he wrote the chord progression to after listening to a lot of Black Marble and envisioned it as more of a dreamy pop song with an eight-note style bassline. Rik came up with a vocal melody and the guitar riff. The catchiness of the ‘Streams of Light’ lyric gave Shea the idea to put together a three-part harmony to sit underneath Rik’s vocals on the chorus and outro. Rik’s vocal melody and lyrics give you subtle references to the era while allowing it to remain modern and original. It conjures different images in your mind but isn’t specific to one thing.
Through the course of playing this song as a band, it really morphed into the doo-wop style that it is now. Mike immediately gave it a signature feel with the boom-chick-chick, boom-chick rhythm on the drums, which after hearing it, we wanted that rhythm to start and end the song. As the song began to take its final shape, Russell drew inspiration from ‘Stand By Me’ when finalizing his bassline. Shea came up with the rhythmic chords on the keys to cement the swing and dance feel to it. He also added a pulsing vibrato, short delay and a ton of reverb to help give the keys a traditional tone to the genre. We really wanted to pay homage to something we love while keeping our individuality. It’s fun to have different styles of songs to play and this one feels like a real pop song.”
Check out the song and video below, out everywhere tomorrow. Wednesdays is out April 7th via Dutch Records.