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Wave Racer delivers emotional heart-on-sleeve release with ‘Left Behind’

Photo credit: Jordan Drysdale.

Enigmatic Australian artist Wave Racer has unveiled his first single of 2021, “Left Behind,” out now on Astral People Recordings. Transforming post-breakup depression into buoyant pick-me-up pop, “Left Behind” is a bold, adventurous sonic departure for the Sydney-turned-Melbourne electronic producer, real name Tom Purcell.

Inspired by an identity crisis that followed a relationship breakdown, “Left Behind” sees Wave Racer tap into his trademark emotionally-charged hyper-pop sound. Transforming post-breakup depression into buoyant pick-me-up pop, ‘Left Behind’ is a bold, adventurous sonic departure for the Sydney-turned-Melbourne electronic producer, real name Tom Purcell.

A heart-on-sleeve release, “Left Behind” is Wave Racer at his most candid. Wave Racer explains the following in a press release:

“I was forced into a major identity transformation very rapidly and the song describes that experience and the unhealthy coping mechanisms associated with it. I wanted the lyrics to be as honest and self-aware as possible, and sonically I think I managed to capture the sense of feverish anxiety and uncertainty that many of us probably feel during transformative times. Exploring new sounds and textures felt like the best way to complement the discovery of a new sense of self.”

– Wave Racer

In retrospect, Purcell sees his anxieties bubbling up since first finding success as a 21-year-old when he uploaded tracks “Rock U Tonite” and “Stoopid” to SoundCloud on a whim under the name Wave Racer— an ode to a Nintendo 64 classic that captured the songs’ sunny, pixelated optimism. Soon after, he was touring non-stop internationally and was considered a leading producer of ‘future bass’, an electronica genre trading in nostalgia, 808s and twinkling, hyper-speed beats. He won praise from SkrillexPorter Robinson, and Flume, remixing the latter as well as the likes of Foster The People and Snakehips.

“I don’t think I was ready for any of that,” he says. ”I’m normally very cautious with the decisions that I make… I thought I was managing the attention at the time but I wasn’t coping very healthily. I was so worried about how people were going to perceive me if I made one wrong step. It was a recipe for anxiety.”

– Wave Racer

The new release also coincides with Purcell’s forthcoming appearance at Porter Robinson’s Secret Sky, taking place on Saturday, April 24. The sole Australian artist on the lineup, the online festival will also feature the likes of Baauer, Boys Noize, REZZ, and more. RSVP here to watch Wave Racer on Secret Sky.

Wave Race – Left Behind

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