Kelly Barber on Wave Break’s new EP ‘Puzzle Pieces’

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Photo by Holly Turner

Alternative rock project Wave Break have released their sophomore EP Puzzle Pieces, out on all digital platforms NOW. The release of Puzzle Pieces has been led in by four monthly single releases, including the most recent, “Stop The Car.” The EP is a colorful, bold collection of alternative-tinged tracks that all dip their toes into different elements of punk, emo, and pop. With each single leading up to the release of “Puzzle Pieces,” lead vocalist Kelly Barber has shown a different (and incredibly seasoned) facet of Wave Break, which is now her solo project. “Puzzle Pieces” is unavoidable rock ear candy and a record that alternative ears will sink their teeth into.

About “Puzzle Pieces,” Wave Break states:

This record is the culmination of a lot of things that have gone wrong in my life over the last few years since Wave Break first started. Lost friends, breakups, stalkers, toxic jobs, losing bandmates… A lot of it resulting in having to change my environment or in people leaving my life. It’s all about the importance of finding the right people and situations to surround yourself with, and the effect on your mental health as you’re figuring it all out. Not everyone in your life is truly there for you, and not every opportunity you get is going to be best for you. It’s hard as hell, but it’s up to you to navigate through all of that and piece it all together.

You recently released three new singles, “Chemical Burn” (out 7/15), “Manic Dreams” (out 8/13), and “Tug Of War.” What was the writing and recording process? 

The writing and recording process was actually the same for each of those singles! I wrote the rhythm guitar, lyrics, and melodies for each of the songs, and then demoed each of them out with the rest of the upcoming EP and then recorded them all together in the studio. My producer helped me with the other instruments on these songs. 

You describe yourself as a “one-woman rock band.” Share with us your backstory. 

Yeah! For me, it means that I’m the only person—and woman—in the band. Wave Break started as a full band initially, but then after the first EP, went through a number of lineup changes. Eventually, right before quarantine, I found myself as the only person in the band. Instead of rushing to get another lineup together, I figured I would just pull together this EP myself and take my time with figuring out what I want to do going forward. So this EP is technically a solo EP. 

What is your “go-to” guitar for songwriting? 

I actually have been writing on the same guitar I tend to play at shows and in my music video! It’s a Fender Jaguar with humbucker pickups. I love that guitar so much. It’s very comfortable to play and also sonically packs a punch! 

What message do you want to convey to listeners through your music? 

I want listeners to know that they can overcome whatever adversity they are facing in their lives and that they’re not alone. I want them to feel a sense of strength and confidence in making it through. Wave Break’s music is all about perseverance and strength. 

Now that these singles have been released, what’s next?

Another new single called “Stop the Car” dropped on October 8th, and then Wave Break’s sophomore EP Puzzle Pieces dropped on November 5th! After that, we will be playing a number of shows and working on more new music.

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