Next Wave #1114: HotWax

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With the release of their EP ‘A Thousand Times’, HotWax are storming into vision with a fervent firepower, leaving a trail of electrifying performances across the UK and already securing coveted spots alongside The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs at upcoming summer festivals. Only fresh out of school, the trio are spinning a tight web of high-octane, post-punk charged with the essence of grunge. Beneath their loud and proud sound however, is a palpable self-awareness of the tribulations of coming-of-age. A glance at their lyricism traces a backdrop of guilt, endings, motherhood, climate change, the list goes on. It is ultimately their shared experiences of concern and excitement that bind them so tightly together.

HotWax advocate for a generation impassioned by their environment. “It’s really exciting for us that so much is happening with the band” bassist Lola Sam explains, “but we’re also considering whether the world is a good place to be”. Tracks such as ‘Mother’ and ‘Rip It Out’ reflect the bands’ conscious introspection and pulse on the present, as vocalist Tallulah Sim-Savage croons with immediacy over the moralities of motherhood and the emotional impact of the contraceptive implant. “I always wanted to be a mother when I was growing up”, she says, “but thinking about issues like climate change as a young person leads me to think ‘is that selfish to have a child?” 

Amidst this backdrop of self-awareness, it is the trio’s friendship that keeps them feeling most supported. They radiate a profound connection, born through Lola and Tallulah’s initial forming in school, later fielding drummer Alfie Sayers in Brighton. Lola cites that “connection between everyone in the band” is the essential ingredient for best performance and their EP ‘A Thousand Times’ seemingly operates as a musical embodiment of the shared friendship that bases this connection.

Even after touring with the ‘Pearl Harts’ and performing four raucous sets at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, it was the band’s return to their old Hastings haunts for a home-town show that induced the most nerves. “Everyone’s been hearing about what we’ve been doing” reports Tallulah. “It felt like a lot to live up to but it was so fun and went really well.” Gazing out into the crowd, the band were faced with the faces of many people who had “helped us along the way” making for a nerve wracking but sentimental experience. When the adrenaline surges and nerves are at their peak, Alfie explains how the band aims to find someone in the crowd and “stare them down” with a directness that yearns for an audience that is present and connecting to their message. 

Ascending through the musical ranks with a sharp and fierce determination, HotWax are bringing the delectable combination of gritty riffs, rhythmic force and a tapestry of existential lyricism to the likes of Victoria Park’s All Points East, in support of The Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the latter being one of Tallulah’s favourite bands of all time. Now signed with Marathon Artists (working also with Lava La Rue, Vagabon), HotWax are gearing up for a massive year – one in which they’re set to lean on their friendship even more. With a coy smile, Tallulah states that for HotWax, “it always comes back to that. It always comes back to friendship.”

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‘A Thousand Times’ EP is out now.

Words: Talitha Myners