High Waisted
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High Waisted

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Surf Rock


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs



"Nylon Live in Studio"

With New Year's Eve just around the corner, questions of how to best celebrate it often linger until the eleventh hour (literally). Well, look no further than a night out with High Waisted, a four piece surf pop outfit who parties like it's 1969. Fronted by the velvety vocals of Jessica Louise Dye, this New York based quartet channels the most idyllic sunset drive down California's Pacific Coast Highway in a vintage, fourth generation Ford Thunderbird convertible. Thankfully, the band stopped by the Nylon Studio to share their garage rock fantasy, and we got it all on film. Check it out! - Nylon Magazine

"Stream: NYC surf rockers High Waisted’s debut album On Ludlow"

A surf rock album made by a bunch of New Yorkers in the middle of a blizzard. Yep.

If you think a band from New York City couldn’t possibly know a thing about surf rock, well, you obviously haven’t heard The Ramones (nor have you stumbled into that weird-ass bar in Williamsburg with the sandy floors, but that’s a story for another day). High Waisted take their musical cues and a good chunk of their aesthetic from “Rockaway Beach”, and they don’t seem to give a damn that they don’t live in sunny California. “I wish the Rockaways had bigger waves,” admits frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye, “but I love making surf rock in NYC.” And she should! Especially when it sounds like High Waisted’s debut album, On Ludlow. Each of these 12 tracks is a party unto itself, complete with scuzzy bass, bright vocal harmonies, and enough reverb to fill a decently sized punch bowl.

High Waisted aren’t exactly going for subtlety with song titles like “Shithead” and “Kitchen Safari”, but they do show a surprising bit of range. The arpeggiated chords of opening track “Trust” give way to jammy punk tunes like “Shanghai Spy” and irresistibly doo-wop numbers like “Maybe Baby”. Just like those knee-high waves at Rockaway Beach, each of these songs is similar to but also distinctive from the one that precedes it (see what we did there?).

The best part about On Ludlow? This surfy gem was conceived in the middle of a freaking blizzard. As Louise Dye recounts, “The day we arrived in Woodstock, NY, a huge blizzard buried the town in three feet of snow.” A plow truck was sent to dug them into the old church they were set to record in, but it flipped over on the highway. Hey, whatever works. “The heat was cranked, twinkle lights were strung about, and we dressed in summer clothes. It definitely set the tone for us,” Louise Day explains. “We wanted to make a record that could warm us up on cold winter days.” - Consequence of Sound

"Rose Windows played Rough Trade NYC w/ High Waisted and Worthless (pics)"

In spite of myself, I really enjoyed High Waisted's set. They're a new band (roughly three months old, said singer and guitarist Jessica Louise Dye), so the only recorded material they have online is a demo tape that they purportedly recorded on acid in Nashville. They're self-described surf rock. I don't usually like most bands that employ this description, but despite that, i thought High Waisted were awesome. They play incredibly solid, sunny pop songs with well-written vocal hooks, and they're tight. Dye sings with an easiness that disguises how technically demanding the parts are. Translation: girl can sing, and she does. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be hearing more from these guys in the coming months. - Brooklyn Vegan

"Premiere: High Waisted Channels The 90’s In The Empowering ‘Firebomb’ Video"

Back in September, New York’s High Waisted released two new tracks in the form of a 7-inch single, a precursor to their upcoming sophomore album. Included on the 7-inch was the track “Firebomb,” a true rocker reminiscent of the best parts of Hole and The Distillers. Today, we’re happy to be exclusively premiering the video for the track, which features vocalist/guitars Jessica Dye paying homage to powerful frontwomen of the 90’s.

Interspersed with shots of the band’s cathartic live set are shots of Dye in lingerie writhing around on the ground and licking her guitar. “This video is about the struggle to find the confidence to be your boldest self,” Dye said in a statement. “It’s sex-positive and celebrates female strength.” Check out the truly awesome video for “Firebomb” above.

High Waisted’s “Free Throw/Firebomb” seven-inch is out now on Little Dickman Records. Pick it up here and be sure to catch the band on their upcoming tour dates, which can be found below. - Uproxx

"Sit Back, Relax, and Soak Up Some Sonic Sunshine With High Waisted’s “Door”"

Sit back, relax, and soak up the sunshine (or drop some acid) with their latest song “Door.”

Photo by Matthew Kanberg

High Waisted, fronted by vocalist and guitar player Jessica Louise Dye, is exactly what you need to pull you out of this winter time dreariness.

The band’s mastery of 50s era vocals and classic surf guitar will have you dancing in your chair while considering buying tickets to Hawaii. The band is well known for throwing concerts on boats, tiki style pig roasts, and acid trip pizza parties. Rumor has it, they actually sell cassettes of their mixtapes (which they recorded on hallucinogens) with acid. Sounds like they know what it’s like to be a flower child, in the best way. Trust us, this is the quick lightening up track you need right now.

Sit back, relax, and soak up the sunshine (or drop some acid) with their latest song “Door” off their upcoming album On Ludlow out March 4th. - Noisey


New York rockers High Waisted have two new tracks that pack enough punch for a solo single release this Friday (Sept. 15) via Little Dickman Records.

“Firebomb” and “Free Throw” are part of a limited edition split 7” with Minnesota group The Coax that coincides with their shared North American tour that runs through early November.

The new offerings build on the group’s mix of lo-fi garage rock and vintage surf music that was established on their 2016 debut LP On Ludlow. The band has never sounded more confident on the new set, which makes lead vocalist and guitarist Jessica Dye’s inspiration of “Free Throw” that much more astonishing.

"I used to assume the older you get the less fearful of failure you would be, but if anything, that worry just intensifies,” Dye tells Billboard. “It's easy to feel hopeless even though you're working as hard as you can towards a goal and it still isn't enough. I think everyone can relate to this dark thought.”

Meanwhile, “Firebomb” is a self-described “feminist rock and roll war cry” that Dye hopes will shed light on knowing one’s self-worth and encouraging “other women to do the same with confidence and fearlessness of rejection."

The limited edition 7” is available for pre-order here before its release on Friday (Sept. 15).

Listen to both tracks from the single below and check out the band’s tour dates after the jump. - Billboard

"Buzz Band of the Week"

It's a great premise for your first EP: head to a haunted house in Nashville, set up some guitars, drums and a cheap microphone, drop acid and record the results. That's what NYC four-piece High Waisted did last year, and the fruits of their endeavors - two track 'Acid Tapes Vol. 1' - are suitably spaced out, their brand of surfy garage rock given a manic lysergic, twist - NME Magazine

"Style Record: High Waisted"

With her penchant for billowy slipdresses and pastel pink locks—at least for the moment—Jessica Louise Dye is the embodiment of NYC’s lower east side, rocker cool girl. Frontwoman for High Waisted, Dye describes her look as vintage-inspired and does throwback styling oh-so right, making yesterday’s looks her perfect go-tos for today. Steeped in grunge but softened by feminine staples and a devious mystery, Dye’s allure, much like the band’s sound, were made for late-night New York City adventures.

Described as surf rock and dream pop, High Waisted’s sound has a twangy, low-fi approachability while Dye’s purred lyrics range anywhere from silky crooner to roaring party starter. Hits like “Shanghai Spy” and “Party in the Back” display the band’s driving guitar harmonies, bright drum hits and fuzzy bass while softer songs like “Door” hint at Dye’s vulnerable interior. Overall, High Waisted’s charm lies in their wild child vibe and beachy riffs juxtaposed by the hard edges of an east coast sensibility. Though High Waisted plays the carefree card, do not be fooled by the easy-going reverb. Dye and company play with a layered intensity and beguiling harmony while Dye’s intense vocal range, from pithy babydoll to a waning snarl, coos the audience into a dance party frenzy every time. Much like her self-imposed dresscode, Dye’s sound is a luxurious mélange of femininity teased out with neon lipstick, black knee highs and platform boots made for stage dives and all-night “get downs,” as she calls them.

With their debut album On Ludlow hitting the shelves today, March 4, and an east coast tour on the books in April, High Waisted is primed and ready to take on the world, one surf anthem at a time. In between all the hullabaloo, we were able to catch up with Dye via email to get the scoop on her vintage style and why the 1960s have a special place in her heart.

Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.

Jessica Louise Dye: I love mixing feminine pieces with beat up leather or fishnets. I don’t wear pants, ever. My closet consists of only dresses, skirts and a few crop tops. Comfort and and flirtiness are very important to me. I love when my skirt has a little swing to dance with. I also prefer modest tops on stage so I can bounce around with the boys and jump into the crowd without any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

Paste: What do you think makes up an ideal stage outfit?

Dye: My go to look consists of a leather jacket, mini dress, over the knee socks and platform boots. I’m pretty uniform and like to play with prints and colors.

Paste: How would you say your on-stage style differs from your off-stage style?

Dye: Shorter dresses, taller shoes, thicker eyeliner, bigger hair. But it’s really just a slightly more exaggerated version of my day to day look!

Paste: How has your style changed since you first started performing?

Dye: Recently, I have been more era specific with my styling. I’m really only dressing with pieces from the 60s and 70s, which also reflect the sound of my band.

Paste: Are there any specific artists who have influenced your style?

Dye: Diana Ross, Jane Birkin, Cher, Blondie, Nancy Sinatra, The Supremes and Brigitte Bardot.

Paste: The look of your music video “Party in the Back” is all over the place from skater kid to disco queen. Did you have a hand in the styling or was the idea more a come as you are type vibe?

Dye:I concepted and directed the entire video with my drummer, Jono Bernstein. We wanted to give viewers a glimpse into a typical night out in the lower east side. We were styled in looks from our own wardrobes for the beginning of the video. The second half of the video, or the acid dream as I call it, was a glamorous disco, girls only, dancing, drinking, get down party. We wanted it to feel like a modern Studio 54. I worked with designer, Jamie McCarty, to custom create all of the costumes. The color palette and styling was very deliberate to help take viewers on a candescent acid trip.

Paste: Any favorite places to shop or find one of a kind wardrobe pieces?

Dye: I thrift often, but only outside of NYC. I also do a lot of eBay hunting and throw seasonal clothing swaps with my girlfriends.

Paste: If you could live and dress in one specific era, which would you choose?

Dye: I already dress as though it’s 1963. So, I’d love to teleport to NYC in the 70s and dress like Cher!

Paste: Favorite beauty hacks?

Dye: I put leftover hair dye in my conditioner to keep my pastel color fresh!

Paste: If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?

Dye: Retro. Mischievous. Fearless. - Paste Magazine

"How to Throw a Killer After-Party with High Waisted"

A guideline from a band that should know.

High Waisted is a lot of things: a surf-rock band that throws raucous Lower East Side parties, friends and roommates, a group of people who stay up late and get up early. Their whirlwind energy gets channeled into creating a boisterous atmosphere just as much as into the music. (Their website, so anti-corporate, ends in .party rather than .com).
The band is fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, a compact battery of infinite energy. Dye orchestrated the recording of High Waisted's first major piece, Acid Tape, in a rumored-to-be-haunted punk squat in Nashville (on acid, of course). The four-piece band came back to New York, where they all met, for their first full album, On Ludlow. There’s no contradiction in East Coast surf rock for her, Dye says: “When I first moved to New York, I was really big into surfing.” Five days a week, “I would get up, be on the train by 4:45 A.M., and be in the water by 6. Who says New York can’t be a surf town?”
They’re also keeping up more traditional New York habits, like having big parties in slender spaces. In a conversation over beers, Dye tells us how to do it:

A guideline from a band that should know.

High Waisted is a lot of things: a surf-rock band that throws raucous Lower East Side parties, friends and roommates, a group of people who stay up late and get up early. Their whirlwind energy gets channeled into creating a boisterous atmosphere just as much as into the music. (Their website, so anti-corporate, ends in .party rather than .com).
The band is fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, a compact battery of infinite energy. Dye orchestrated the recording of High Waisted's first major piece, Acid Tape, in a rumored-to-be-haunted punk squat in Nashville (on acid, of course). The four-piece band came back to New York, where they all met, for their first full album, On Ludlow. There’s no contradiction in East Coast surf rock for her, Dye says: “When I first moved to New York, I was really big into surfing.” Five days a week, “I would get up, be on the train by 4:45 A.M., and be in the water by 6. Who says New York can’t be a surf town?”
They’re also keeping up more traditional New York habits, like having big parties in slender spaces. In a conversation over beers, Dye tells us how to do it:

"Lots of dark nooks and crannies. Dim lighting, preferably red because everyone looks way sexier in red lighting. It’s a proven fact, bars know it. Everyone has to have lowered their inhibitions a little bit to be a little naughty. Naughty is good. Confidence. I need all my after-party guests to be excited for what might come. I pour champagne down everyone’s mouth. There is a lot of flash photography involved. Balloons; I love balloons. I bring balloons to every after-party. And adrenaline. That’s another ingredient. After-parties need adrenaline."
All right: balloons, red lightbulbs, adrenaline. Make a list. - GQ

"Eating, drinking, and shopping on a Perfect Saturday with the High Waisted frontwoman"

Jessica Louise Dye is a breath of fresh air on the Lower East Side — if, by fresh air, you mean she harkens back to the neighborhood's glory days. While so many of the great venues, bars, and record stores keep folding to the likes of sterilized chain yogurt shops, Dye captures the area's rebellious roots and knows where to go to find a similar spirit.

She's magnetic enough to make you need to be her best friend immediately, and she'll keep you hooked with her vintage-leaning style, her musical insight, and debaucherous stories of life on the road with her band, High Waisted.

With the release of the surf band's album On Ludlow coming up next week, Dye is one busy lady. But she still took the time to kick it with us on a Saturday to show us her favorite go-tos in the neighborhood. We jumped at the chance to see how a true downtown rock star does a local weekend.


Every good day starts with a little caffeine boost, and Saturdays are no exception. In fact, they're even better than other days because we get to leisurely enjoy that eye-opener while tucked into a table in Jessica's favorite authentic spot, Caffé Roma. Even in the middle of "tourist land," as our guide calls Little Italy, this café feels true-blue, old-school New York. It's cozy and welcoming with a little attitude, and has the perfect view for people-watching.

We can't think of a better snack to accompany said people-watching than the famous cannolis this place serves. Crispy and flaky, filled with creamy and rich — heaven. There's also a tiramisu to dig into and dream about, and delicious hot chocolate if you're looking for something a little more low-key than espresso.


It's time to get down to business. We want to shop and we want to shop now, and our guide knows just what we're in the mood for. Jessica brings us to one of her all-time favorites, Reformation, and we couldn't be happier — who's not a fan of this cool-girl cult label with its sexy, vintage-inspired vibes?

"I wish my entire wardrobe came from this shop," Jessica says. We agree, and proceed to spend way too long flitting through the racks and picking our dream looks, thrilled as we always are when shopping a boutique that carries options for multiple body types, budgets, and aesthetics.

Our guide points out the staff's helpfulness as a major bonus here. "I actually did a style pull from here for my first photo shoot with my band. The girls who work here are super sweet and helpful! I tend to be very indecisive when shopping for clothing alone, so it's nice to feel like the babes working here are my best friends who can help me pick out the perfect new look."


Hanging out with a lead singer on the rise all day is likely to have anyone channeling their rock-star dreams. We were itching to get a little Hendrix, and we happened to be right by Jessica's go-to shop for six-strings. She took us into Ludlow Guitars, another old New York gem tucked into the changing Lower East Side that's still a haven for seasoned musicians and burgeoning bands alike — its proximity to some of the city's coolest venues only adds to the atmosphere.

After perusing the lovingly and expertly curated axe selection — a mix of vintage and new with a focus on indie labels — we were treated to our own performance from Jessica in one of the store's jam-perfect soundproof rooms, which are a bona fide hangout spot for our guide.

"We met Hector, my favorite guitar geek and knowledgeable shopkeeper at Ludlow Guitars, at one of our shows. This is a prime example of why local guitar shops will always win my business. They are excited to help me find new toys to boost my live performance and don't mind setting up their coolest amps and pedals for me to play with."


Twirling around in Reformation's always-perfect dresses and getting our own private rock show has worked up our appetites, and Jessica has us covered. She knows the way to our hearts is more Italian carbs, and so on we go to Williamsburg Pizza — but don't worry, we're not leaving the Lower East Side.

We're hitting up the Manhattan location of the Brooklyn-born pie spot. We find out our guide has ties to this place that go even deeper than a love of ooey-gooey cheese, perfectly spiced sauce, and crispy yet fluffy crust (and that love is pretty deep).

"I met [Williamsburg Pizza owner] Aaron through Instagram," she explains. "Nerdy, I know. They have a weekly ‘show us your pie' contest, and I tagged a photo of myself inhaling a piece of their delicious pizza and I won. We've since become pals IRL. Williamsburg Pizza sponsored my cassette tape release party this fall. It was beautiful to see a very crowded room of happy show-goers munching on free pizza and watching bands."

The possibilities are endless here with delectable toppings like truffle oil and kale. "I recommend their Grandma pie," Jessica says. "But they also do cute stuff like make heart shaped pizzas — send one to your crush!"


Still totally chilled out from our pizza binge, we ask Jessica where her favorite spot for a cocktail or craft beer is. We are, after all, on the Lower East Side, where it feels like there are more bars than apartments. But how do we cut through the noise and find somewhere with an equally perfect menu and vibe? Our guide doesn't have to think twice before leading us to Black Tree.

"This place is my own version of Cheers," she says. "I have my own bar stool and the staff have given me a nickname. My drink is ready when I walk through the door...My guitarist works here, [and the] owners have become close friends and supporters of our band."

Black Tree has on-trend foodie haven written all over it, yet it's such a laid-back place to hunker down with a drink and either a snack or a full meal and befriend your bartender. The entire menu changes based on what's available on a hyper-local, seasonal basis, and even the drinks are selected based not only on quality but aloon proximity.

"I recommend the burrata, and I wash it down with a pint of Down East cider on draught," Jessica says.

Even if we're full, we can't resist taking her advice, and also give in to a snacking urge for the yellow pea hummus before choosing from the list of citrus cocktails and DIY Old Fashioneds. We're probably going to be here all afternoon. - Racked Magazine

"About a Band: High Waisted Tour Diary"

We got a glimpse of life on the road with NYC band High Waisted, a self proclaimed “surf band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll,” while on their Winter Whatever tour around the midwest and east coast, ending with a homecoming show at Baby’s Alright in Brooklyn. The shows ranged from packed house parties, to all ages venues in city and college towns. Along the way, the band had a chance to explore sites like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and The Bean in Chicago, also enjoying the moments of solitude in between.

More about the band’s adventures from the tour diary written by front woman Jessica Louise Dye:

"The van packed like a game of chess. A balancing act of skill and squishing, everything to fit. The first ride in a new van is always the best. That anticipation of adventure coupled with our hunger for the road, guided us to Youngstown, Ohio. We stayed in my child home and had dinner with my mom. We got up early the next morning to walk around the snow covered lily pond I used to visit every day as a little girl. I don’t remember ever seeing it so frozen and cold. We were off to Cleveland, the van was quiet this morning.

In Cleveland we traded an Acid Tape Vol. 2 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in exchange for free entry. They said they’d hold onto it until we were famous. We laughed. That night we played nintendo games, ate hot dogs and got our first taste of the stage.

Fort Wayne, Indiana welcomed us with pop punk and high fives. We hung out with weirdos and screamed for “girls to the front”. It worked. We played pool at a bar after hours with men in overalls and moustaches and ate pizza feeling dizzy in the van.

As we set up in the massive great room of Phoenix House in Lansing, Michigan, college kids danced about in turtleneck sweaters, holding jugs of tequila (the theme of their party). We played surf classics standing on our amps to a room so crowded, kids had climbed the mountains of couches stacked against the walls. The room pulsated and the crowd bounced like jumping beans! By song three, the fire alarm went off and everyone evacuated. Once cleared for safety by the fire department, hundreds of kids piled back in and the show continued.

In Milwaukee the sweet guys of Boone and Crockett gave us our own tour guide to show us around. We stayed at my guitarist’s family home that night, cuddled into beds under family quilts. We woke up to a much needed feast prepared by mom and dad. We pet the kitties and packed back into the van.

The drives all blurred together. Our radio blasted The Descendants, Sarge, Charlie Megira, Go Sailor and Henry Rollin’s “Get In The Van”. The sunsets accompanied by the quiet breathing of my sleeping bandmates were the best part of every drive. We stopped at a farm to play in the snow. We stopped for coffee, for record shops, for thrift stores, for snacks. We took our time and enjoyed every mile of road. We jumped on the beds of our Super 8 Motel room. We slept in a mansion in Des Moines. We played an art gallery. We slept on floors. We played in a kitchen.We slept in the van and on each other. And even swung by Daytrotter to record some songs.

We acted like tourists in Chicago, IL. Visiting the art museum, comic book stores and riding the train. We gave away free SweetWater beer to new fans and looked mysterious that night thanks to a very powerful fog machine.

60 degree weather welcomed us in Athens, Ohio. Every porch and lawn was littered in college kids taking full advantage of the warm day. With shaky legs, we loaded into an old punk house up a steep icy hill. Only one of us fell down. The small space was laughable, but Athen’s punks know how to party. I belted and danced sandwiched between the refrigerator and the stove. Boys poured whiskey into my mouth. People threw beers. Kids stood on the kitchen counter. We played louder to meet their excitement. I wanted to go swimming. We kissed statues in the cemetery. We talked to drifters. We waited for the sun to rise. I wanted to fly to the moon.

Breakfast and warm coffee cured us. We set off for Pittsburgh. We were lucky to run into old friends at every city along the way. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches and danced too hard in an old Elks Lodge now called Spirit. The lights on stage that night played tricks on my eyes. Tour was coming to a close, and we could sense the post tour sadness that was destined to hit. Philadelphia was cold, but the bands we played with were on fire. After so many house shows, we appreciated a good sound guy too. That night we slept in a mansion with it’s own elevator. Everyone’s kindness and hospitality towards us made this tour so special.

I moved away from Washington DC three years ago and this would be our first show there. We played a DIY house venue in the Atlas District. The room was filled with old bandmates, old friends, old lovers, and old supporters. We’ve been careful to treat every performance like the last, to remember that every stage is special. But this was the actual last night of tour, and I’ve got a sentimental heart. As my proud collection of bruises (one for each city) from lugging gear, jumping off stages, and sleeping on floors slowly fade, I’ll miss the road. Til the next tour!"

Lean more about the band on their website and look out for High Waisted’s debut album coming out on March 4th. - Urban Outfitters

"Discovery Artist: High Waisted"

Eat trash and be free with High Waisted, the surf rock band that’s currently leaving a trail of sparkles across the U.S.!

Photo courtesy of Matt Kanbergs

High Waisted is a NYC based band influenced by happiness, sparkles, Dick Dale, and doing whatever the hell they want. Fronted by the lively Jessica Louise Dye on vocals and guitar–it doesn’t matter how deep that dark pit in your chest goes, Dye’s voice warms up even the coldest heart!

Dye, guitarist Steven Nelson, drummer Jono Bernstein, and bassist Jeremy Hansen are currently on their ‘Eat Trash Be Free’ tour hitting up places all over the U.S. When we spoke with Dye on the phone they were currently in Nashville waiting in line for tacos. This tour is for their album released this past march entitled “On Ludlow.”

Photo courtesy of Devon Bristol Shaw

The album is filled with catchy surf tunes that make you want to throw on your favorite outfit and bang your head like a teenager! Tracks like “Shithead” and “Party In The Back” have beachy guitar riffs, fun lyrics, and melodies that’ll make you see colors.

This is High Waisted’s first full-length album– entitled ‘On Ludlow’ since destiny brought them together on Ludlow St. in NYC. Dye says that she pulled from a place deep inside of her that she wasn’t able to get out during her teen years. She confesses that ‘On Ludlow’ has a younger, immature vibe–she even pulled inspiration from her very own teenage diaries.

Album artwork courtesy of the band

Keep an eye out for their up-coming music video done by Refinery29 shot in virtual reality! Make sure to check them out on social media–they’re entertaining and colorful!

You won’t regret it.

And don’t forget to check out the Discovery Artist feature on High Waisted! - Breat Thri Radio

"Surfin' in the City: High Waisted makes carefree music for the people, plays OT Sunday"

Surf music isn’t about a place, it’s about a state of mind. After all, surf rock tycoons the Beach Boys nary touched a wave in their heyday. Similarly, New York punk icons The Ramones managed to catch their own surf with the likes of “Rockaway Beach,” despite the fact that it’s impossible to swim in leather motorcycle jackets. This is ilk from which New York’s new surf icons, High Waisted, hail.

The band has become a Lower East Side cult favorite and lead singer Jessica Louise Dye is recognized for her wild style, off and on stage. The band just released two music videos, one on Nylon, the other on Bust Magazine - a feminine blend of NYC punk and modern internet “it” girl. With Dye’s powerful voice and an eclectic mix of infectious guitar melodies and vintage vibes, the group brings empowerment, feminine inspiration, and party vibes to all those enjoying their music. The band’s debut album, On Ludlow, is a narrative for youthful adventure in NYC’s oldest rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood.

A lo-fi surf band with a penchant for irresistibly catchy 60’s pop sensibilities, High Waisted evokes the soundtrack of the band you’d want to play your rocking’ high school prom if you’re life were a movie. Despite the fact that their debut LP was recorded during a blizzard in upstate New York, the reverby guitars and fuzzy bass practically drip sunshine.

Toledo.com was proud and pleased to catch up with lead singer, Dye, via email as the band embarks on their first full national tour. Check out our chat below. - Toledo.com

"High Waisted Kicks Off Summer With New Song, ‘Shithead’: BUST Premiere"

Summer’s coming and High Waisted is kicking off the long awaited season with the release of a brand new music video, Shithead, off of their debut album, On Ludlow. The colorful music video stars lead singer, Jessica Louise Dye, dancing like the sun will never stop shinin' at all her fave spots in New York City. Its free spirited nature matches the meaning behind Shithead; “a rejection of finding happiness and validation from others” and “...aims to inspire others to be silly, act wild, and do what makes you happy”. Now that is a true “testament to self love”!

The surf pop band and BUST Magazine want to celebrate the new music video with YOU! On Wednesday, June 1st, High Waisted and BUST are coming together to throw the “ultimate babe party” at Niagara. The party will have all the essentials for an amazing night: cupcakes, a photo booth, free drinks provided by Red Bull and free manicures by Savannah Jean of Sweet and Savvy Nails! Also, be prepared to dance cause we’ll have DJ Lauren Elizabeth in the house along with Jeremy Hansen and Stephen Nielsen who will be doing an all vinyl set. - Bust Magazine

"NYC Surf Rockers “High Waisted” To Play At Be Here Now July 9th"

JULY 5, 2016
Muncie, IN—NYC’s favorite surf rock band High Waisted hit the road on an American tour in support of their their debut LP, On Ludlow. Named “best party band” by GQ and “buzz band to watch” by NME Magazine, High Waisted’s boisterous set lives up to their name.

The band has become a lower east side cult fave and lead singer Jessica Louise Dye is recognized for her wild style, off and on stage. The band just released two music videos, one on Nylon, the other on Bust Magazine – a feminine blend of NYC punk and modern internet “it” girl. With Dye’s powerful voice and an eclectic mix of infectious guitar melodies and vintage vibes, the group brings empowerment, feminine inspiration, and party vibes to all those enjoying their music. The band’s debut album, “On Ludlow” is a narrative for youthful adventure in NYC’s oldest rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood the Lower East Side, filtered through a lens of cheerfulness, reverb and sunshine. High Waisted’s live set is boisterous and the perfect backdrop to endless summer nights, crushes gone wrong, and the friendships and memories that make it all right again! Stream “On Ludlow” on Consequence of Sound. - Munice Journal

"Riotfest Denver Exclusive"

During the Labor Day weekend FEMMUSIC was at Riot Denver Denver (see the separate gallery). We were contacted by NYC band High Waisted to do a quick photoshoot. High Waisted is a surf rock band made of up Jessica Louis Dye, Steven, Jeremy and Jono. They have been receiving praise for their new album On Ludlow. They have wild energy and pop hooks in their music. Dye has a charisma mixed with guitar chops that is reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde. For info visit http://highwaisted.party/ - Fem Music

"PWR BTTM and High Waisted give energetic performances"

The message during PWR BTTM and High Waisted’s sets on Thursday night was clear: This is a safe space; we want you to have fun.

Though raucous and at times a little angry, the two bands put on performances for WERW’s Fall 2016 Launch Party in Schine Underground that combined thoughtful audience interaction with great musical prowess — and each were intimate and thoroughly enjoyable.

Photo: Rachel Kline
New York City natives High Waisted kicked the evening off with high-energy surfer rock, but not before lead singer Jessica Louise Dye joked with the audience about being back in school.

“It’s a Thursday night, don’t you guys have class tomorrow?” Dye asked.

The crowd answered with a resounding “no” and band members laughed as they launched into a song. It would be easy to write off High Waisted’s music as simply influenced by ‘60s California rock ‘n’ roll. However, the band takes the genre’s predecessors and at once pays homage to and enhances those artists’ music with a modern edge. But maybe it’s a bit of a given — you certainly wouldn’t find any songs called “Shithead” or “Nuclear Lover” on the Beach Boys’ Pets Sounds.

Dye and company played with constant smiles and laughter, and even when they delved into their sadder material, “Hey Hey,” they still retain that same quality that makes you involuntarily groove along. - News House


Jessica Louise Dye weaved in and out of the crowd, gin and tonic in hand, before bringing her roller skates to a halt and introducing herself to me. Dye is the lead singer of the surf-rock band from New York, High Waisted. She, with three bandmates in tow – drummer Jono Bernstein, bassist Jeremy Hansen, and guitarist Stephen Nielsen – carried with them an infectious vibe that made you want to stay a while.

Their website (appropriately titled highwaisted.party) describes every show as a party. I was determined to see if this was true. After watching Dye bend in half while singing and playing guitar, Bernstein throw out his shoulder from drumming, and the infatuation of the crowd, I’d have to say that they live up to their website. I also got a few minutes to talk to Jessica about what inspires her and how she got to where she is.

Q: What are you feeling at this moment?

A: Oh man, I’m really excited to take off my roller skates. I’m in a really good mood. The best part is that these shows have been really early which is such a contrast of playing in New York. There shows don’t normally start until ten or eleven o’clock. They’re late, late nights. Basically, in New York you see the sunrise often. Here, I’m playing at sunset so this whole tour has been a different vibe.

Photo by Sabrina Sheck

Q: How long have you guys been on the road for?
A: God, nine days almost? About a week. The whole tour is 32 days total.

Q: Are you stopping anywhere in Lawrence after this?

A: After this? I don’t know yet. Let’s see how many gin and tonics I have.

Q: I read that you moved to New York to follow a boy. What would you say to the girl who did that now?

A: I mean, I’m the same person. I’ve been the same person since I was like fourteen. I just have more experiences and a lot more fun now. I wish I could tell the girl who was going through that New York breakup to keep being lonely, and savor that loneliness because it’ll eventually work out.

Photo by Sabrina Sheck

Q: How did you guys find your aesthetic that you have now?

A: I just really like surf music. I realized that I can’t really dance so much. I’m a goofy dancer. But if you put on a good twist-and-shout and I slay. Okay? That is my jam. So I thought, okay I wanna play music that even myself could dance to. We also all have common interests in the genre. It’s also really fun to play. I love a good sentimental, sad song, but that’s not fun to play every night. Imagine if you went on a tour for a month, and you had to sing these songs that were about pain, hardship, and sorrow. God! How depressing. That’s not fun. I don’t wanna do that. I want to get on a stage every night and maybe sing about things that are the catalyst of sorrow but then spin it, make it happy, shake my hair, shake my booty, have a drink, high five my best friends and go to the next city.

Q: Would you describe the band as your best friends?

A: Absolutely, yes. If they’re not then we’re fucking up.

Photo by Sabrina Sheck

Q: Do you guys ever fight?

A: Absolutely! Don’t you ever fight with your mom or your brother? You have to. Your relationships aren’t healthy if you don’t tell someone that them clipping their toenails in the van is obnoxious. There are growing pains. We are brothers and sisters and we fight like that. That’s totally fine. We get to the venue and everyone does their job and we get on stage and everything is fine again. Even our fights are so baby. It’s like, “Wah, I wanted to go to Taco Bell and we went to Wendy’s”. They’re not real fights. They’re just family annoyances.

Q: What’s the difference between shows in New York and touring all over the United States?

A: It’s totally different. New York is like it’s own animal. People in the midwest actually watch your set. They come early and they’ll come talk to you at the merch booth and say hi. If they liked it, they feel obligated to tell you. That fun, positive feedback is really great. You don’t get that in New York. In New York everyone is just too cool.

Q: How would you describe a party?

A: Balloons, red lights, short skirts, and low ambitions.

Photo by Sabrina Sheck

Q: Who is one person that inspires you creatively?

A: Patty Smith. I’ve read all her books and all her poetry. She’s such an influence.
The band is continuing their with a show today in Denver and other dates following it. - Style on the hill

"PWR BTTM and High Waisted"

High Waisted played first, gifting the crowd with an energetic set and ending things with a raw jam. They’re a female fronted act with a sort of surf rock sound and I made a point to add their feel-good tunes to my Spotify library after the show. They were a perfect act to warm up the crowd for the headliner. - 20 Watts Magazine


Sometimes, when the atmosphere is freaky enough and the music is retro enough, you get lost. If you’re lucky, you get lost at sea with a band as rad as High Waisted. NYC’s beloved party-animal-surf-rockers set the soundtrack for an East River sunset, joined by a select group of groovy fans and a literal boatload of PBRs.

No answers were to be had for the age-old question (first popularized in Bushwick): “Are these people wearing costumes or are they just really hip?” With all the plastic leis and multicolored merch, courtesy of the bash, mixing with the leopard-print booty shorts and Brady Bunch-style shirts, courtesy of someone’s closet, it was tough to tell. The only thing certain was that everyone had gotten the go-go boots memo.

By the time High Waisted took the makeshift stage, their name pretty much described the crowd in two words. Fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, whose stage presence is rivaled only by her wicked purple hair, they rocked through “Jack the Ripper,” “Trust,” “Hey Hey,” “Door,” “Wail,” “Shanghai Spy,” “Shithead,” “Party,” and (yes, yes, yes) even “Wipeout” and “Misirlou.”

As the water rolled beneath them and the city coasted away, High Waisted found an edgy new place in the familiar cascade of surf rock progressions. But the party ended with a different kind of music, when the whole crowd started popping balloons just to make each other scream. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"Interview: High Waisted's Jessica Louise Dye. High Waisted Play BoonTunes on Saturday, 8/27"

Party on the Road

New York City's High Waisted are a band that like to party, but they should also be taken very seriously. On their debut album, On Ludlow, they deftly combine achingly beautiful guitar tones and the powerful voice of Jessica Louise Dye to create a retro-modern version of surf pop. Whether listening to the record or watching the band play live, you can sense the care and precision that go into everything High Waisted do while still feeling the undeniable urge to dance along.

To this point, High Waisted have done everything themselves without the help of a label. They've managed to net themselves a spot on Riot Fest and have built their first national tour with Somos and Free Throw around that. That tour brings them back to New Jersey for a show at BoonTunes in Boonton on Saturday, August 27th. I had the chance to ask Jessica Louise Dye a few questions just as they were setting off.

On your website (with the awesome address highwaisted.party, btw), you say that the band is "fronted by Jessica Louise Dye and backed by three long-haired hunks." How did you all come together as High Waisted?

I moved to NYC for a boy and the opportunity for a fresh start. He broke my heart and decided to move out stealing my entire record collection. Devastated, I wandered the streets of the Lower East Side, sitting alone in dark bars late at night scribbling into a notebook.

It was on one of these nights I met Jeremy Hansen (bass), Stephen Nielsen (guitar) and Jono Bernstein (drums) at a BYOVinyl night. We instantly bonded over old albums by The Ventures, Dick Dale, and Link Wray. It was there, on Ludlow Street, over cold Tecates and spicy tequila, that we decided to start a surf band. High Waisted was born, and the party had begun.

What drew you to your particular aesthetic of 1960s-inspired surf rock?

Surf rock is the only kind of music I can dance to. I wanted to create tunes for other people with limited dancing skills!

I've been pretty amazed with how much you've accomplished while remaining independent and unsigned. Has not being on a label been a conscious decision or has the right deal just not come along yet?

There's a time for everything and we're a DIY band to the core. We design our own shirts, posters, website, album art, blog, and social media. We own our music and have final say on everything. Which is really liberating. When we find a label that gels well with our "go get it" ethos, we'd be happy to have them join our team.

Do you have any advice for other bands that may want to pursue a more independent path?

You have to have a clear idea of what you want now, in 6 months and in 2 years. Most importantly, you have to be willing to put in long hours, learn a lot as you go and work as a team. We enjoy working on all the little details, so loving every step of the process is also a must!

You seem to have cultivated a whole, I don't know, "vibe" around your band -- from your videos to your High Waisted at Sea cruises to your live shows -- where everything you do as High Waisted is a party. Is being in this band really a non-stop party or are you all secretly wallflowers staying home with the cat when you're not playing shows?

As any good party person knows, balance is key. You can often find us running around the Lower East Side at our favorite watering holes crushing brews, playing pool, and getting wild. But time at home with our kitties is also crucial to productivity and creativity. Plus we all have sister kitties and we love them. Shout out to Momma cat Lilo and baby Burger and Tillie!

You've just embarked on your first national tour. Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to as you tour all around the country?

As an east coast surf band, were most stoked to take our sound to the golden coast!

One of the smaller spaces you'll be playing on this tour is BoonTunes in Boonton, NJ on 8/27. Is there something special about playing tight spaces like record stores and boats?

Absolutely. Smaller rooms better trap the audiences' energy. It bottle necks and smacks us in the face!

Finally, On Ludlow is absolutely one of my favorite records of this (or any) year. I can't get enough of it. Do you have any new music planned for after you're done with all of this touring?

Aw! Thanks! We're writing new tunes and testing some out on this tour. Planning to record em' all this fall. We had to let the new jams marinate a little.

High Waisted on Tour
08/26 New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall
08/27 Boonton, NJ @ Boontunes
08/28 Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
08/30 Nashville, TN @ The End
08/31 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar Lounge
09/01 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
09/04 Denver, CO @ Riot Fest
09/05 Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
09/07 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
09/09 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
09/10 San Diego, CA @ Che Cafe
09/11 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
09/13 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder
09/14 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club
09/17 Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
9/20 Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
09/21 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
09/22 Buffalo, NY @ Studio at Waiting Room
09/23 Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s - Cool Dad Music

"What Happens When You Party on A Boat with High Waisted"

“We’ve got vapers, haters, smokers and dopers,” someone slurs poetically from the stern of the boat, where a dozen or so costumed partygoers are making use of the fresh air with you. You’re sort of curious who said it, but not curious enough to pull your eyes off the skyline. The dusky blue clouds are spilling out from a tear in the middle, like stuffing coming out of a pillow. You can tell there’s a hell of a sunset on its way. But it’s the sudden vibration under your feet that finally gets your attention. “They’re starting!” squeals a go-go dancer holding a pineapple.

Realizing it’s the drums you’re feeling, you quickly start to make your way back inside. Your beer sloshes a bit in the hustle, right into the ocean, and it’s still fizzing from the wave that sent it sloshing. It’s a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd for High Waisted at Sea 3, the band’s annual rock & roll cruise around Manhattan – and PBR is proving to be a much-loved sponsor. You pass through a slough of drunken conversations before you reach the door. “Wow, it looks so stupid on my phone,” one guy complains. “Yeah, stay still, bitch!” laughs his friend. You look over to find them both trying to get a picture of the Statue of Liberty.

After openers DJ Drew Redmond, Joseph King, and Roya warmed things up, the boat is rocking hard for High Waisted. Everyone’s favorite, heavily-sequined frontwoman, Jessica Louise Dye, supplies the “nah nah nah”s and “hey hey”s in style over their reckless, surf rock riffs. You weave your way through wild fans and inflatable whales, but lose your bearings for a moment in pursuit of the best spot. In that time, one dude throws a Hawaiian lei over your head, someone in a bikini gives you her business card, and you suddenly find another beer in your hand. You take a quick swig and it foams over, this time from everyone’s stomping. Right as you’re swiveling back to face the stage, someone’s foot hits your shoulder.

To your surprise, that foot belongs to Jessica. She’s already crowdsurfing, and the screams are so loud, they’re like another hand holding her up. You join in the cause and send her sailing around the room, while the band whips up an especially groovy, grungy sound for the occasion. “Happy Christmas, Hannukah, my dad’s birthday, my mom’s birthday!” she shouts between songs. But you already know the truth. No one needs an excuse to party with High Waisted. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"High Waisted Rock’n’Roll Booze Cruise"

It’s that time of the year again, y’all! Get your sea legs ready, because High Waisted is getting together the best of the best to give you the wildest time you’ll ever have on water. You’ll not only get to hear the rad sounds of Roya and Joseph King, but also DJ Drew Redmond will be spinning 45s for your dancing pleasures all night long. Plus, that’s not all folks–there will be a photo booth, a Go-Go dancing performance by Momma Jean & the Dancin’ Dreams, face painting, and an open bar from 7-9pm. What the hell more can you ask for? (If you seriously have something to add to that, then you’re just being greedy at this point.) We were there last year and can tell you from first hand experience that it’s a time you’re not gonna want to miss out on! - Alt Citizen

"Mixes with High Waisted"

New York City

NYC band High Waisted is probably having more fun than you…fact. With a sound that blends surf, pop and garage rock, the foursome is everything that one would dream a rock and roll band to be. Releasing their album On Ludlow in March of this year, the group have astonished fans and critics alike, racking up praises in various publications including NME, Nylon, Vice’s Noisey and more. The truth is, whilst there are the visuals which depict a bold wildness, High Waisted are a band that know music, and know it incredibly well. With Jessica Louise Dye delivering masterfully controlling vocals with entertaining and at times edgy content, the band’s sound is stylistically lustrous, gripping the attention of the listener from beginning to end. In terms of live shows, the bring energy to the umpteenth degree, which is why they are presently one of the bands that is on everyone’s radar.

For ColoRising Mixes 26, front woman Jessica Louise Dye curates a selection in which she titles ‘Don’t Call Me Honey, Honey’. You can find tracks by Dum Dum Girls, Bleached, Peach Kelli Pop and a host of insanely good cuts that you will definitely keep on repeat!

High Waisted are also kicking off a tour throughout the U.S. beginning June 29th. Check the listings below for dates and venues. - Colorising


New York City’s High Waisted take a modern spin on the conventional surf rock sound, adding a bit of punk rock edge to keep things interesting. The band is based on the Lower East Side of NYC, the definitive rock n’ roll neighborhood, and that comes out in their music, as well as offstage. We talked to frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye about the band, their latest album, “On Ludlow”, and touring ahead of their show at Boone and Crockett on July 3rd. Check it out:
B&E: For anyone who hasn’t heard of High Waisted, how would you describe yourselves?
JLD: Best friends who eat too much dollar slice, nerd out over vintage records and can toss back beers like the best of em’. Oh, and we play surf rock music that will make you wanna dance, hold hands and find a beach to suntan on.
B&E: Listening to “On Ludlow”, there’s a heavy surf influence in your sound, but you’re from the Lower East Side of New York City. What bands do you think influenced the sound of the album?

JLD: The lower east side was a huge writing influence, our record is an ode to all landlocked surfers. We’ve spent a lot of time devouring The Ventures, Link Wray, Dick Dale and The Trashmen.

B&E: Is there a surf scene in NYC that we don’t know about? Does the sound go over well with local crowds?
JLD: There is a actual surf community at Rockaway Beach that is close knit and thriving. In terms of a surf rock music following? I think people appreciate a good melody they can shake their hips to. It’s universal, young and old. Make em’ dance, make em’ feel.

B&E: Visually, especially in the “Party In The Back” video, you guys are partying all over the place. Is that kind of chaos typical of a High Waisted tour?

JLD: Tour isn’t anywhere as tame as that video (wink). The music video for “Party in the Back” was our typical night out in the LES throwing back some beers, nommin’ some za’. We all work within a few blocks of one another. Running around Ludlow bar hopping is what’s so cool about NYC. You can become part of a neighbor community. We wanted to to be true to life, even if life is a little wild at times (sorry moms!).

B&E: Keeping with that theme, we always love hearing about what goes on when touring. Any crazy road / show stories that you’d like to share?

JLD: I’ll stick to a few memorable moments…
We played a huge house show in Lansing once, took really strong molly, had a fire alarm pulled, piled onto the lawn with hundreds of kids in the snow wearing our guitars so we weren’t robbed, waited for the fire department, got the okay and went back in and rocked even harder.
Another time we were cramped into a kitchen is this old dingy house in Athens, Ohio, a rad DIY show space. We we’re turned up way too loud and kids were climbing on top of the cabinets and fridge to squeeze in to see us. People kept pouring whiskey into our mouths as we played – my guitar was sticky for weeks. I joking screamed into the mic for someone to give us acid and next thing you know some dude dropped a hit on my tongue. I swam all the way back to NYC.
One year for Halloween we dressed as the entire cast and creatures from Mario World, our friends included. We were playing a backyard party and it started pouring rain. Everyone’s costumes were soaked, scary face paint melting, but the whole crowd helped us get our gear inside to safety. Nothing more terrifying than drunk people in costumes, soaking wet.
B&E: What should people expect from your show at Boone & Crockett on July 3rd?

JLD: Good old rock ‘n’ roll music.

B&E: Lastly, (most importantly), you’re playing Milwaukee. What’s your beer of choice?

JLD: Cold. - Breaking and Entering

"High Waisted"

When you think of New York, surf might not be the first thing to come to mind, but NYC rockers High Waisted are changing that. The party loving, garage surf rock band mixes pop style with surf swing. Their summer sound is light-hearted and hypnotic with soft toned, doo wop ranging vocals (reminiscent to the likings of Dum Dum Girls, Cults and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino) and reverb heavy guitar accompaniment.

Door is off their newly released debut album, On Ludlow. The 60's styled anthem is consistent with their relaxed, dog days spirit. With sway-induced patterns and catchy beat, it's almost hard to realize the less-than-happy lyrics. The call for attention is masked by upbeat tempo and fetching back up chorus. Check out the song for yourself and party with them in person July 3rd on their tour at Boone & Crockett's. - Explain News


In the effort of never missing a High Waisted party, I made my way over the river to Hoboken to Pier 13. Okay, I know what some of you are thinking; “why go to Jersey?” How about the magnificent views of Manhattan, a Beer Garden on a Pier, cold brews from Sweetwater Brewing Company and live music from NYC’s party-est party band in High Waisted. Add in tons of food trucks, a less crowded scene and it’s really a winning combination.

Arriving to the pier I was introduced to the Sweetwater Brewing company reps, and they immediately hooked me up with some drink tickets which I turned in for their newest creation called “Goin’ Coastal IPA,” which for someone that doesn’t generally hold IPA’s in high-regards, was impressive with just the right touch of pineapple and a slight bitter finish. It’s one of the best seasonal beers I’ve ever had, and pretty much perfect for the summer time.

Cold brew in hand and with the Hudson breeze making a 88 degree day seem like 75 – Brooklyn rockers Boytoy gave us a solid 30 minute set of lo-fi goodness.

As soon as High Waisted started to play their catchy surf-rock tunes, is when the party really started and a crowd started to form. Playing select tunes off their debut album On Ludlow and a few surf covers, they really brought the party vibe to the vibrant pier. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"11 names you might not recognize on this year’s Riot Fest lineup"

NYC surf rockers High Waisted will be bringing the beach to both dates of Riot Fest this year. After exploding out of the Brooklyn punk scene with a unique West Coast sound, this dreamy quartet aim to leave their mark on the Midwest this fall. - Alternative Press

"Music Park: High Waisted"

Sunny waves of dazzling surf roll out over the audience as High Waisted start to play.

The band waste no time in getting down to business on Sunday night at the Black Cat. Singer Jessica Louise Dye and her three bandmates are there to open for soul trickster Har Mar Superstar, but quite a crowded room has turned up early to see the surf rock quartet from New York City.

Sparking guitar from Steven Nielsen takes us back to the 1960s — even if we weren’t alive during the time, we feel like we are on a sun-drenched Technicolor beach with young Teri Garr or Toni Basil dancing on the sand.

Instead of those ’60s starlets, we have the capable Ms. Dye, who certainly holds her own as the center of attention with winsome looks, a magnetic stage presence, and a pleasant voice. With her guitar slung over her shoulder, she slinks and slithers along bright grooves, aided and abetted by bassist Jeremy Hansen and drummer Jono Bernstein.

Here are a few cool shots of Jess doing her thing, courtesy of our photographer Ben. (Stay tuned for some shots of the band on film from Ben in the near future!)



Last month, High Waisted released their debut album On Ludlow, named in tribute to a street in their home borough of Manhattan (and specifically the Lower East Side neighborhood), and it’s an immediate sensation. The first single, “Party in the Back,” is representative of the high-energy, celebratory nod to good times.

Elsewhere, Jessica’s pleasant cooing makes you comfortable rocking out to a song called “Shithead,” which is really quite an upbeat song despite the insult hurled at a disagreeable boyfriend. More agreeable is the buoyant invitation of “Door,” as she waits on the other side for yooooooou, punctuated by catchy “ooohs” and “aaahs.”

As much as the audience adores Jessica’s voice, some of the most fun and absorbing numbers from High Waisted are the instrumentals! I’ll sing again the praises of the vibrant Shanghai Spy, which should have been the theme music to a television caper starring Bruce Lee in 1966. It’s a thrilling bit of music exuding a sense of pop mystery. Similarly, the winning “Kitchen Safari” comes with the air of a spaghetti western, and the way it builds up slowly, you can easily imagine gunfighters glaring across a sweltering desert as they take the measure of the situation.

Fittingly, High Waisted close out their set as usual with a cover of Dick Dale’s “Misirlou” — and this time they are joined by the horn section from Har Mar Superstar. It was terrific pairing!

High Waisted are joined by band members from Har Mar Superstar for “Misirlou” at the Black Cat on Sunday, April 17. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

All in all, High Waisted are an exciting band that you must experience. I say experience because you have to go ready to have some fun. I imagine High Waisted are best enjoyed as they perform on a sunny deck overlooking an expansive pool somewhere. Alas, the band are not currently on tour, having wrapped up their stint with Har Mar Superstar. They do have a few shows coming up in New York City in May, however. They hop into the Market Hotel in Brooklyn on May 12 with fellow surf poppers La Luz from Seattle -– there’s a fantastic double bill for you -– and then Shea Stadium on May 18 with L.A. Witch and a few other bands.

I fully anticipate seeing them on a full headlining tour again here in DC quite soon. Don’t miss that show! - Parklife DC

"Album Review: High Waisted"

When I look back at the early days of CoolDad Music, I see a lot more album reviews, a lot more time spent listening to recorded music. Some of that had to do with the fact that I was out running with my iPhone more (I'm trying to get back into it. I swear.). And some of that had to do with my not going to as many shows or taking as many pictures back then. The thing that's gotten lost in that evolution, though, is that feeling of just becoming totally obsessed with a particular album. I still listen to stuff often and really enjoy it, but sometimes it feels like it's become less personal or something. I listen less as a pure music fan and more as a guy with a website.

That's why On Ludlow by New York's High Waisted has been so refreshing for me. I play it in my car. I play it sitting at my desk. I've been obsessively searching the web for a physical copy so that I can play it on my turntable. I love it.

OK. Review over.

Not really.

Everything great about On Ludlow appears on opener "Trust." The band's sound is somewhere in the intersection of surf, garage rock, and spaghetti western. I keep visualizing faded Instamatic photographs when listening, and I'm not lying when I say that this song / record inspired me to look for film cameras on eBay. Jessica Louise Dye's voice is kind of, well, a revelation; and the guitar tones that Stephan Nielsen puts out are thick and juicy, especially during the bridge which sounds almost like an allusion to Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game."

"Party in the Back" is, in fact, a party. It's fun and upbeat; and, since it's a simple-sounding retro-pop song, you may not notice the fact that Dye's vocals are so amazing. I keep thinking of that Lou Reed lyric from New York's "Romeo Had Juliet:" "Her voice was like a bell." Nielsen and the rest of the band -- Jono Bernstein (drums) and Jeremy Hansen (bass) -- provide a scuzzy, garage-y counterpoint.

And it doesn't stop. The reverb and arpeggiated chords on "Shithead." The Tarantino movie vibe of "Door." The high-flying lushness of "Gold Tooth." The understated beauty of "Hey Hey." High Waisted explore every corner of sun-bleached, 60s-inspired surf pop.

Things get a little darker and more aggressive on surf instrumental "Shanghai Safari" and "Wail." Dye takes a little vocal inspiration from Patti Smith on the latter. "Detonate" is a snotty, rough-around-the-edges shot of garage rock.

On Ludlow mellows again in its final quarter with "Nuclear Lover," the swaying "Maybe Baby" with its cinematic drum crashes, and the more low-key instrumental "Kitchen Safari." Connecting everything -- and I keep coming back to this -- are Dye's amazing voice and some guitar tones that many players would kill to achieve.

We were still in the throes of winter when On Ludlow came out at the beginning of March. It took me a little while to start digging into it, but it's almost as if the weather started to get warmer as I went deeper with the record. Now, I'm excited to spend the summer with High Waisted. And to start learning to take photos with film.

On Ludlow is out now and available from wherever you like to buy your digital music. I haven't located a physical copy, but I'm going to try and make one of their upcoming NYC shows (5/12 at Market Hotel or 5/18 at Shea Stadium) and see if I can't grab one. - Cool Dad

"High Waisted: Surf Pop Band Plays at Chameleon Club on Saturday, April 16"

High Waisted: Surf Pop Band Plays at Chameleon Club on Saturday, April 16

HighWaisted6“Oh, hold on a second! I’m kissing a golden retreiver!” Jessica apologized as she interrupted our conversation to kiss a dog, who has lived below her studio of two years, and has known since its puppy-hood. I had the chance to speak with the lovely lead singer of High Waisted.

On April 16, the Chameleon Club will be hosting High Waisted, a surf rock/surf pop band made up of New Yorkers Jessica Dye (vocals and guitar), Stephan Neilson (lead guitar), Jono Berstein (drums), and Jeremy Hansen (bass).


HighWaisted_SidebarPicThe story of how they came together is very musically based. Jessica used to attend a bar every Sunday for “Bring Your Own Vinyl Night,” which was lead by now bass player, Jeremy. The weekly evening was a great little community way to hang out. Now lead guitarist, Stephan, worked right across from the street, and Jessica later met drummer, Jono Bernstein dancing at a show on the same street. They were all musically connected, and were great friends before a band formation naturally accumulated from their friendship.

The undertones of High Waisted, which formed in the Spring of 2014, are definitely surf based. Jessica’s favorite song off of their debut album, On Ludlow, is “Hey, Hey,” where she taps into a sassier, more confrontational portion of her bubbly and charming personality. “It’s something I get to do on stage, and get to leave on stage, too,” Jessica says. Jessica’s voice is like… Well, it’s like magic. It’s smooth and soothing and has the clearest tone I think I’ve heard in a long time.

I would encourage you to give their album, On Ludlow, a really good listen. It’s great for driving, relaxing, working, and enjoying the company of those you love.

Tickets are on sale for their show at the Chameleon here.

INSTAGRAM: @gethighwaistedd
FACEBOOK: facebook.com/highwaisted

Formed in the spring of 2014, High Waisted is an NYC surf rock band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll. Every show is a party. Lo-fi fuzzy bass, reverb drenched guitars and radiant harmonies mesh to create the melodies of your wave-crashed daydreams. Fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, and backed by three long haired hunks, her quirky 60’s garage rock aesthetic is re-imagined from the nose of a surfboard, making High Waisted feel like a summer’s dream. Named NME Magazine’s “buzz band to watch,” the group recently released Acid Tapes Vol. 2. Their debut album, On Ludlow was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios in Woodstock, NY with renowned producer Bryan Pugh, will release March 4th, 2016. High Waisted is known for throwing their own DIY concerts on boats, tiki style pig roasts, and acid trip pizza parties. - Fll Mag


Next Friday, April 15th, Iggy Pop will be playing his [apparently] last-ever Philly date… at an opera house… for $150… So I’m guessing that the party that I [and you could follow suit] will actually be attending is Har Mar Superstar and High Waisted’s show at the 200-capacity MilkBoy (for $16). Although I’ve been a bit out of touch with the beautiful ridiculousness of Har Mar Superstar since I was a HS senior and he toured with the Gossip (R.I.P.) and did that song with Beth Ditto, I do have fond memories of that night… and I also believe that NYC-based High Waisted may have recently stolen the title belt for my favorite band of 2016. Last month High Waisted released their debut album, On Ludlow. The album boasts a sassy-pants brand of surf rock that is just as indebted to the greatest girl-groupy-ness of the 1960s as it is the brash grrrliness of the early ‘90s. They could very easily be the band that headlines the prom in a John Waters film… I recently got a chance to chat with High Waisted frontperson Jess Dye about what it is that actually inspires the band and just how excited they are to spread their sounds to anyone and everyone who digs the way they roll. - Philthy Mag


Dozens of pale pink balloons floated around Mercury Lounge the night of High Waisted’s album release party. The surf rockers of High Waisted always know how to throw a good party and that night wasn’t an exception. - Pancakes and Whiskey

"14 Badass Female Musicians at SXSW Weigh In on the Good and the Ugly of Festival Season"

Jessica Louise Dye of High Waisted

On SXSW and the rest of festival season: SXSW is like summer camp for bands, and it's my favorite week of the year. I get to see my friends that play music from all over the world reunite in Austin. But I'm most excited to meet new friends. Every year I've gone, I have met the most amazing people, mostly wonderful women working in music of whom I am still close with. And I can't wait to find new bands to fall in love with. Oh and burritos, I can't wait to eat my weight in good Tex Mex! My second favorite festival is NYC's Governors Ball. It's basically in my backyard, and the lineup is always so diverse from The Strokes to Kanye. It's set at the beginning of summer, so it's perfect to chill on a blanket with the Manhattan Skyline just behind the main stage and enjoy music all day.

__On the female musicians she can't wait to see this summer:__I love a confident girl on stage as well as being able to dance and sing along. I especially am drawn to babes who can shred their instrument! Sunflower Bean, Angel Olsen, Chvrches, Courtney Barnett, St. Vincent, Alvvays, Santigold, Charli XCX.

__On the lack of female musicians represented at festivals:__It's disheartening because our current culture still sidelines, fetishizes, and dismisses female artists. There are hundreds of strong female acts that could play any festival right now and dominate. But I think this climate is going to change. There are many wonderful programs for young girls that I didn't have access to growing up, such as Girl's Rock. It's about fostering young female musicians now by giving them access to instruments, classes, and the support and encouragement needed to grow their confidence. If girls are invited to join in, they will. We can change the male-dominated nature of the music business by acknowledging that this disparity is an issue and making the necessary efforts for equal treatment and inclusion of female acts. The more we encourage female youths to be a part of music, the more amazing talent we'll have in the future.

__On the getup that gives her confidence onstage:__I think feeling comfortable and sexy is key. I always go for short dresses, knee socks, and covered tops. I like wild prints, feathers, leather...anything that feels like a costume helps me get into a glam rock n' roll state of mind.

__On her dream festival lineup:Link Wray, the Runaways, the Doors, Selena, Jefferson Airplane, Bikini Kill, Sonny and Cher, Fugazi, Janis Joplin, B-52s, Lou Reed. - Glamour Mag

"Breakfast with High Waisted"

On an extremely rainy day in New York City, I found myself walking into a greasy hole-in-the-wall diner tucked away on the corner of Havemeyer and Broadway off the Marcy Ave subway stop in Williamsburg, called the Reben Luncheonette.

“It reminds me of that place we went to in Minneapolis,” Jess Louise Dye, front-woman of High Waisted, remembers as I sat with her and her band mates as they devoured golden-brown home fries, scrambled eggs and coffee steaming out of teal, ceramic mugs.

“This place is much cleaner!” Jono Bernstein, drummer of High Waisted, says with a laugh.

“What was that place called? The Weinery?” Jess asks her friends. “It’s like a really dive-y, greasy spoon, like this, but way skeezy. If you go to jail and you get out in the morning and you have your wristband they’ll give you a free breakfast. It’s that kind of place.”

Through all of the “happy chewing,” as Jess called it, I was able to chat with High Waisted about how they formed their band and about their debut album, On Ludlow – which comes out March 4.

High Waisted
High Waisted

The four surf rockers of High Waisted all met on the infamous Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side of NYC.

“Jeremy [Hansen], our bass player, used to run a B.Y.O.V., a bring your own vinyl night at Los Feliz, and I would go in and bring some records and we just bonded over music,” Jess explains. “He introduced me to Stephan [Nielsen, our guitarist] who, at the time, worked at Café Vita across the street, also on Ludlow.”

Jess now works at Pianos on Ludlow Street, the place where she met her drummer, Jono, while they were both dancing the night away.

“Everything was just born in a three-block radius from music and shared interests in surf rock, psych rock, country,” Jess says.

It was only fitting that they named their debut album On Ludlow.

“I think we were kidding around about the name at first and then we were like no really, this is stupid, why wouldn’t we use this?” Jono says.

“We’re often a little drunkipoo on Ludlow so being High Waisted on Ludlow makes sense,” Jess says along with many head nods from the rest of the band.

This band of friends took their antics up to the upper Hudson River Valley to Woodstock to record where some of the greatest have before them. Inside St. John’s Church, originally built in 1896, sits Dreamland Studios, the same studio that the B-52s recorded “Loveshack” in, and the studio where On Ludlow was born.

“It almost was a failure to launch though,” Jono says. “There was a blizzard on the night we got up there and we were supposed to start recording the next day and the plow truck flipped when it was coming up to [the studio]. We didn’t know that happened, and they told us and they were like, ‘yeah we’re digging you guys out!’ and they literally dug out the driveway of the church so we were able to get inside.”

The church is attached to an old house, where the band stayed for the duration of their recording process so they never had to leave the grounds.

“It was awesome that it snowed because then we couldn’t leave,” Jeremy remembers. “We were just completely snowed into this old church and working on music.”

They never left the mindset of recording for the entirety of the 5 days they where there.

“I’d usually wake up a few hours early and I would have coffee and watch some news and play bass and warm up my fingers,” Jeremy says.

Grammy award winning engineer and producer, Bryan Pugh would get there around noon and the band would spend a whole day tracking live together in one big room, a process that was essential in capturing the energy of each song.

“We’d get done around 10/11 at night, Bryan Pugh would leave and I would stay up in the studio because they had all this old equipment, all these old keyboards and Leslies and we would just play with stuff to find sounds for the next day’s session until like 2 in the morning,” Jeremy says.

The prolonged process of recording at a studio in New York City was something that the band tried before and it didn’t benefit them in the way that working at Dreamland Studios did this time around.

“If you were in New York, you would have to get on the train or get in a car, get to the studio; you’re going to probably have at least one guitar or something with you, everything else should be set up there depending on how your rental works, “ Jono explains. “For some bands, that also may mean, we record one track today and then nothing for a week and then two tracks next week and then nothing. We’ve tried all that, it’s not for us.”

Being able to fully isolate themselves in the recording process, the band was able to do things with this record that they may not have otherwise been able to do and they were able to record it on exactly how they wanted to.

“There was nothing standing in the way from doing anything and everything with Bryan and at Dreamland,” Jono says. “I feel like we were prepared not just musically but mentally and it was nice to have everything around us just work so well.”

As touring season approaches, the band has made plans to take the show on the road, starting with many performances at SXSW in March – including a DIY party they’re working on with Dojozine – and an eventual spring/summer tour to support their new album.

As the rain let up, it was time for the band to start their day and practice for their record release show at Mercury Lounge March 3

“How was breakfast everybody?” Jess asks the guys as we say goodbye and they throw up their hoods and huddle under Jess’s umbrella.

I didn’t even eat anything and that was probably one of the most fun breakfasts I’ve had. - Pancakes and Whiskey


While touring throughout the United States, Jessica Dye She's staying humble, grateful, and fabulous. She's the front woman (guitar & vocals) of High Waisted, a relatively new band on the scene. They describe themselves as "a NYC based surf band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll." With pastel hair and party dresses, Jess is making a name for herself and her band. She's got a "good girls are bad girls who don't get caught" mentality and she pours her heart out on the stage, unafraid to be vulnerable. High Waisted's record, On Ludlow, will be out on March 4th, and if you're in New York, their record release party will be on the 3rd at the Mercury Lounge.

SOCIAL DECAY: Who are your rock 'n' roll idols?

JESS DYE: Patti Smith, Link Wray, Joan Jett

SD: What's your favorite part of being a front woman?

JD: Being a cheerleader and motivator to my bandmates is the best part of being a band leader. I get to make music with my best friends, if they don't feel comfortable it's my job to encourage them. We're a family and everyone takes care of each other. It's also the way I take out my stress and negativity. When I sing songs about moments in my life that were difficult or hurt me, to a crowded room, I feel so vulnerable. That's my therapy. I work my problems out with my heart ripped open in front of strangers.

SD: What are the best and worst parts of touring?

JD: Best: Making new friends. Thrift store shopping. Gas station snacks. Choosing the music on long drives. Catching up on reading. Tinder in small towns. Dry shampoo. Eating all the fried food I want. Playing dress up every night. Getting to perform daily to new people and try out wacky dance moves.

Worst: Never being able to bring my entire wardrobe. Sneaking in naps everywhere. Bruises from lifting gear. Eating all the fried food I shouldn't.

SD: How does New York City influence your music? It seems like there's a lot of inspiration coming from the Lower East Side.

JD: My bandmates and I met in the Lower East Side kicking around Ludlow Street. Hence the record title. I spent a lot of lonely time wandering the LES composing this record before I had the courage and right best friends to make it with. It's 100% NYC born and raised.

SD: Your LP is coming out soon!!! What can everyone expect from it?

JD: Lots of up beat, shake your hair, sway your hips, sing along in the car tunes. It's not a record to be taken too seriously. I want listeners use it as wallpaper at parties, cuz rock 'n' roll is meant to be fun. It's also a record for female empowerment, because I truly believe good girls are bad girls who don't get caught!

SD: How does it feel to be set to headline at the iconic Mercury Lounge for your LP release party?

JD: Pinch me. This is a dream right? - Social Decay

"urf Rock Pop Band High Waisted just finished their first wild music video for their full length album coming out in March."

“We concepted, filmed and edited the video ourselves. This endeavor was made possible with the help of fashion designer Jamie McCarty, whom custom designed and sewed all of the girls’ party outfits. Essentially, it’s a typical night out for my bandmates and I in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.” tells Jono. “We all work at places on Ludlow Street and we all met on Ludlow Street. In a city as big and tough as NYC, it’s my own little slice of community, where everyone knows each other. The theme for our debut album and this video, stay true to the sentiment that, ‘good girls are bad girls who don’t get caught’. I’ve been lucky to surround myself with talented, inspirational, and beautiful women. This video celebrates the right we girls have to dance, scream, skin our knees, hold hands, and most importantly, to feel sexy.” - C-Heads Magazine

"Album Review"

Label: Independent

Release Date: March 4, 2016

Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I absolutely love when a band I am not familiar with puts out a collection of songs that hit my ears and make me smile. The blend of surf, punk, pop, and garage rock that swirls through the twelve tracks on High Waisted’s debut release On Ludlow is fun, exciting, and fresh. Disc opener “Trust” opens with fuzzy guitars and a solid rhythm section that keeps time perfectly. Jessica Louise Dye’s vocals jump into the mix and help create a killer sound without being overbearing or controlling. “Party In The Back” starts off with a bit of punk infused power pop attitude, thanks to the vocals and the great guitar work. The musical vibe of this track suits the lyrics perfectly and builds a fun groove that carries through the track, especially when the guitar solo hits at the bridge. “Door” has a classic feel to it, thanks to the guitar work from Steven. The bass and drums are solid and keep the flow of the track. The wall-of-sound male background vocals at times add depth and a cool twist to the song. “Hey Hey” brings a simpler sound and feel to the disc. The guitars on this track are casual, hanging in the background creating a blanket of familiarity with other songs on the collection while the bass and drums keep the flow of the track moving underneath the vocals. Drums from Jono open “Wail” and the heavy handed drums add punch to the song and accentuate the lower register of Jessica’s vocals on the track. The guitars and bass come together to form a great backdrop for the vocals and lyrics. “Nuclear Lover” is an awesome take on the ballad. The lyrics and matching vocals are heartfelt and sincere, while the guitars pluck out a mild mannered melody to accompany the vocal track. The rhythm section shines in the background on what is one of my favorite tracks.

“Shithead” has a cool surf-feel to it, but sounds like what I imagine a late 1950’s garage band would sound like, if they were ambitious enough to sing lyrics like “You’re just so stupid, you little son of a bitch.” The guitar on this track is fun and airy, letting the bass and drums anchor the track. “Gold Tooth” opens with Jeremy’s chugging bass and grows from there. Soon the guitars and Dye’s airy vocals bring a lighter feel to the track and collection as a whole. The song has a great feel at the chorus, thanks to a cool tempo change. “Shanghai Spy” has that 50’s spy theme sound injected into its DNA, along with a fun surf guitar that builds the sound of the track. This is a cool take on songs like “Secret Agent Man” from days gone by. “Detonate” brings an infectious pop sound to the disc, with an anthemic groove woven through the verse and chorus. The 50’s feel of the music combined with the modern pop flavor of the vocals and a modern twist of guitars at the bridge shows how well the band has mastered the mashup of their different influences and musical loves. “Maybe Baby” features a kitschy 50’s rock vibe that floats around a pounding drum and thumping bass. The vocals are perfectly suited for the song and perfectly deliver the emotionally charged lyrics. Disc closer “Kitchen Safari” takes us out with an instrumental that packs a different punch than just about any track on the disc, but still conforms to the sound and groove the other songs created. Now if we can get High Waisted out of NY and into Detroit for a show, all will be good, but in the meantime I guess I will have to listen to this and wait to climb on my board…

​Tracklisting: Trust – Party In The Back – Shithead – Door – Gold Tooth – Hey Hey – Shanghai Spy – Wail – Detonate – Nuclear Lover – Maybe Baby – Kitchen Safari - 100 Percent Rock

"The Aquarian"

The good folks over at Little Dickman have come through again with new, cutting-edge music and the bands that perform it for us. This next offering is a two-band split project, containing two songs from the band High Waisted and two from Minneapolis-based The Coax. And while The Coax may not live here on the East Coast, their label and labelmates consider them family as we also do. Same goes for NYC High Waisted. Although considered a city band, their touring and recorded music brings them to our coast on a regular basis, and I felt this was a project worth writing about in a big way. I haven’t done too many “splits,” but each band has their distinct style that adds tons of flair to the Little Dickman roster, so I wanted to explore the two acts and see what they bring to the proverbial table.

First up on the platter is New York’s own High Waisted. The band contributes two tracks to the record, including “Fire Bomb” and “Free Throw.” Written, recorded and produced by the band in New York City, their tracks were mixed by the ever capable Arun Bali at Party Store in Nashville, Tennessee. They were also mastered by Taylor Bray at Forty-One Fifteen in Nashville. High Waisted formed in the spring of 2014. High Waisted is a NYC surf-styled rock band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll. Lo-fi fuzzy bass, reverb-drenched guitars and radiant harmonies mesh to create the melodies of your wave-crashed daydreams. Fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, and quoted as being backed by “three long-haired hunks,” her quirky ‘60s garage rock aesthetic is re-imagined from the nose of a surfboard making High Waisted feel like a summer’s dream. Their debut album, recorded at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY with renowned producer Bryan Pugh, was released this past spring. Having continuously sold-out NYC venues, the group is known for organizing and promoting their own shows in unexpected locations such as yachts, warehouses, and rooftops. Every show High Waisted plays becomes the ultimate party.

“Fire Bomb” vaults out of the speakers first. An aggressive mixture of 1990s alternative with a wide flair of old-school rock-and-roll soul, the song immediately falls under the leadership of singer Jessica Louis Dye. Her vocal approach is reminiscent of early Cyndi Lauper, and her use of a sexy, hiccupy vocal style mixes with the singing panache of artists such as P.J. Harvey and Brody Dalle. Guitars, bass, and drums are solid and support Jessica like clockwork. When it comes to the songs compositional worth, the band scores quite high as verses, bridges and choruses are all catchy, full-throttle and on the mark. The effects on Jessica’s vocals lend an air of old-school punk methodology, and guitars utilize their syncopated down strokes to get their ragged point across.

Next is “Free Throw.” This is probably my favorite song on the disc due to its tempo and use of chord structure as Dye sings her heart out. The chorus is a great little piece of addiction and works well with the rest of the tune. I also love the guitars, which utilize perfect chords and tone to keep this song moving at the speed of sound. The band doesn’t rely on a lot of lead guitar breaks, but then again, they don’t need to. Bass and drums are solid, nailing this poppy number straight to the floor. Dye’s vocal tone is also a high point of the song, and she commands this recording with her refined, yet emotionally raw vocal sound. - The Aquarian

"Album Review"

What one might expect and what one gets from this, the debut from High Waisted, are two completely different things. At a glance, you might think the music in the package is going to be predictable sleaze-rock or more of the “trashy” sound that’s become both cliche and irritating from some (God help us) hipster band. Instead, what you get is some remarkably tasteful, tuneful and shockingly vintage-style pop.

Starting with the opener, “Trust”, the voice and the sound go hand in hand – a mix of early ’60’s pop with some very Ventures-sounding guitars, although restrained and highly melodic – and the production matches the entire package. “Party In The Back” is high energy but the fills and catchiness take it on a 100 mile-per-hour drive and again, the sound is a joyful throwback; “Door” has a heavy-duty “Western” twang and a fantastic use of echo (a nice, big room sound) and between the sweetness of Jessica Louise Dye’s angelic voice and the deft musicianship of the band, this sounds wonderfully familiar, yet thoroughly fresh.

“Shanghai Spy” is an obviously fun spoof of spy-themes and definitely could have taken its cue from The Cramps; “Wail” is unquestionably one of the standouts with an emotional vocal delivery that cuts right through the “High Waisted Wall Of Sound” (!) and “Maybe Baby” is just plain pretty – reminding me of some of the very early Blondie tracks (and it wouldn’t be untoward to say that I can hear inflections of Deborah Harry in the vocals). Shimmering and sublime.

So the case for High Waisted is very simple: a dynamic debut; a terrific, cohesive sound and most of all, the talent and skill as songwriters and musicians. Congratulations on a great entry. File under: do not miss.


High Waisted’s self-titled album will be released Friday, March 4th, 2016. - Pop Dose

"High Waisted Feature"

In case you haven't read our review just yet, High Waisted is an NYC-based surf rock band with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll. They just released "On Ludlow" a couple of days ago and well, it's really good and is filled to the brim with fuzzy bass, reverb-drenched guitars and badass harmonies. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy! But read on first because we checked in with vocalist/guitarist Jessica Louise Dye to find out what her top 5 surf tracks are.


The Shadows just have great flare; from masks, capes and even flashy dance moves.


I just love the dynamics in the song. Link Wray was one of the first surf records I owned and it played part in the formation of my band. We used to all hang out at a bar in the lower east side for a BYO Vinyl night. I met my mates as we bonded over great records. I always think of that when we jam on any Link Wray tunes.

LINK WRAY & THE RAY MEN - Rumble (Full Album)

Isn't this track sultry, doesn't it make you wanna strut slowly, across the dance floor?

CHARLIE MEGIRA - The Girl Who Was Frightened of Ashtrays

Charlie's soft, muted take on surf classics and his own musings, melt my heart. He's a crooner in the classic sense and looks like an Elvis turned vampire in his own revival of 60's goth fashion. He also hails from Israel, and sometimes sings in Hebrew!

DICK DALE - Misirlou

Everyone has covered this track throughout the years. It's like a rogue wave you know is gonna smash you to bits. When we play it live, I can't tell if we're in charge, or that driving lead line. My bandmates even met Dick once (he still tours heavily to help pay for his medical bills). His signed poster hangs in our rehearsal room. - Punk Rock Theory

"Album Review"

High Waisted

On Ludlow

Reviewed by: Tiffany Taylor

There is no better way to begin the month of March than the release of On Ludlow by NYC band High Waisted. The band completely takes your mind all the way to warm sand and luscious sunrays of the beach. Lead singer, Jessica Louise Dye’s voice is seemingly excellent, she is the perfect front runner for this beachy vibe band. Rather than just transporting you to the tropics, the album takes you back a couple of decades to a dreamy era full of carefree joy and heartthrob jams. Each track perfectly blends into the next, eliminating every thought of snow and projecting every thought of a warm day.

Fans have been waiting for a full-length album from High Waisted for quite some time, so the hopes are that On Ludlow does not disappoint. Regardless the band is just thrilled to be giving music the people from the Lower East Side want to hear and hopefully to gain some fans (like myself) along the way. The album opens with “Trust”, an intro just gushing with smooth sound. The reverb on the vocals is absolutely necessary, otherwise I do not believe it would be up the quality it is.

Following the first track, On Ludlow takes a deep dive into straight beach rock music. For a band from the heart of NYC, they sure did not need a beach inspiration for the album because for them it is clear that it is a lifestyle. If you’re just listening through, it could easily pass through the ears, forgetting the song even changed. However if you pay close attention, each song is different in a unique and special way- whether it is with guitar chords or lyrics.

I applaud High Waisted for creating an album that represents summertime in the middle of the harsh winter blues. Surf rock is definitely a thing that needs to come to the forefront of music and I believe High Waisted could take On Ludlow and rise to the top with it. All 12 tracks have their own special flow that floats you through the ocean of good tunes and memorable times.

Rating: Bad-Ass - That Music Mag

"On Ludlow Review"

For all the sun-soaked surf rock invading the indie music world these days you’d think that all of America was one big beach party. At the very least, all of these bands tapping into the seashore sound must be from California, or Florida, right? Not really. High Waisted not only call Brooklyn home, but they reportedly recorded their debut album, On Ludlow while holed up in an old church in the midst of a blizzard. Give this record an Oscar for “Best Seasonal Switcheroo” cause these songs evoke nothing but feelings of hot summer days and, in the climactic words of Danny Zuko, oh those summer nights.
The guitar tones may be straight up descendants of Dick Dale or The Ventures, but the alluring vocals of Jessica Louise Dye infuse the songs in a blanket of romance. She brings the yearning and dreaminess of 60’s songstresses like Lesley Gore, or Brenda Lee and infuses it with a wild sense of spontaneity. She sings about love, but it’s usually from “the other side of the door,” either waiting for love to come to her, or trying to distance herself from it.
There seems to be three faces to the character Dye presents in her songs: the romantic, the flirt, and the party girl. There’s a sense of playful teasing in many of the songs (“Trust,” “Door,” “Wail”), and lovely heartache in others (“Nuclear Lover,” “Maybe”). “Party In the Back” is the bridge between the two — it’s the unabashed party song that dives in without testing the water’s temperature.
Like any surf rock album worth it’s weight in sand, this one’s got a sweet instrumental track dead in the center of it. “Shanghai” is a cinematic wave rider showcasing the band’s skills with songwriting, the dueling guitars singing their own evocative vocals.
Come sun or come snow, On Ludlow will bring the beach. - Ink 19

"New Album"

High Waisted, "On Ludlow" (Eat Trash Be Free). Neither uber-hip nor deliberately unhip, the debut full-length from this NYC band grooves on surf-rock romanticism and floats adoringly on frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye's knowingly effervescent vocals. - Tap Milwaukee


Fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, NYC-based indie rock quartet High Waisted formed a couple of years ago and in a relatively short period of time, have developed a reputation locally for a sound that possesses elements of old school surf rock, lo-fi garage rock and psych rock — and for their DIY concerts/booze cruises, tiki styled pig roasts and acid trip pizza parties. With the release of their Acid Tapes Vol. 2 mixtape, the quartet captured the attention of NME, who named them one of a “buzz band to watch.” High Waisted’s highly-anticipated full-length debut effort On Ludlow is slated for a March 4 release, and the album, which was produced by renowned producer Bryan Pugh will likely cement the quartet’s burgeoning reputation for scuzzy, party until you drop rock that also manages to reveal subtle shades of vulnerability beneath all the strutting, stomping and badassery.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about On Ludlow‘s latest single and video “Party In The Back.” Clock in at a little over 2 minutes, the song features Dye’s sweetly sung vocals paired with scuzzy, lo-fi surf rock chords, a propulsive rhythm section and a great guitar solo at the song’s bridge. And if wasn’t for the song’s modern lyrical and thematic concerns — essentially getting out on the town and tearing it the fuck up — the song may have been mistaken for being released in 1962. Now, just a few days ago I caught the NYC based quartet at Baby’s All Right. NYC-based quintet Junk Boys and NYC-based duo Granny — both acts have received praise from several local blogs including The Deli Magazine and others. - Joy of Violent Movement


Fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, the NYC-based indie rock quartet High Waisted formed in 2014 and have quickly developed a reputation for a sound that possesses elements of old school surf rock, lo-fi garage rock and rock and for DIY concerts/booze cruises, tiki style pig roasts and acid trip pizza parties. And with the release of their Acid Tapes Vol. 2 mixtape, the NYC-based surf quartet captured the attention of NME, who named them one of a “buzz band to watch.”

Building on that buzz, High Waisted will be releasing their anticipated, full-length debut effort On Ludlow on March 4, and the album, which was recorded at Woodstock, NY-based Dreamland Recording Studios and produced by renowned producer Bryan Pugh will likely cement the quartet’s burgeoning reputation for scuzzy, party-jam rock. In fact, On Ludlow‘s latest single and video”Party In The Back”largely draws on some of the actual experiences of the band — mainly of hard partying across Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Clocking in at a little over 2 minutes, the song features Dye’s sweetly sung vocals are paired with scuzzy, lo-fi surf rock chords, a propulsive rhythm section and a great guitar solo at the song’s bridge. If it weren’t for the song’s hyper modern lyrical and thematic concerns, you might have easily mistaken it for a song released in 1962; but no matter, it’s the song of song you’d want to drink too much and do the twist, the mashed potatoes and party until you black out somewhere.

As the band’s Jessica Louise Dye explains of the recently released music video’s concept, “It’s a typical night out for my bandmates and I in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The theme for our debut album and this video, stay true to the sentiment that, ‘good girls are bad girls who don’t get caught.’ I’ve been lucky to surround myself with talented, inspirational, and beautiful women. This video celebrates the right we girls have to dance, scream, skin our knees, hold hands, and most importantly, to feel sexy.” Girl power, indeed, huh?

The band will be on tour throughout the rest of the month and into early February — including an NYC area stop. Check out tour dates below. - Joy of Violent Movement

"High Waisted at Dead Kennedy Center"

High Waisted’s show started even before their set had. While making the final tweaks of their sound check and waiting for their lead guitarist to join the rest of the quartet on stage this past Tuesday night at DC house venue, Dead Kennedy Center, front woman Jessica Louise Dye began riffing on The Champs’ 1958 classic “Tequila”. With her voice standing in for the famous saxophone line, Jessica improvised various exclamations to replace “Tequila!” that ranged from absurd non sequiturs to comments about her present circumstances. I was struck during all of this by Dye’s charisma, which is at level I’m not sure I’ve seen from a band in their pre-debut LP, playing-house-shows stage.

I shouldn’t have been too surprised at High Waisted’s showmanship as they were characterized as “honestly some of the most fun people you’ll ever meet” in the email that first put the Brooklyn band on my radar. Throughout their performance High Waisted lived up to these words. Though rooted in scuzzy surf rock the band frequently veered into other genres. There’d be a guitar line reminiscent of a Spaghetti-Western soundtrack braided into one song and then Dye would rip off a vocal melody with the trappings of 90s grunge in the next.

The night was highlighted by High Waisted’s performance of their new single, “Party In The Back”, whose starts and stops only gain momentum as the song goes on, as well we their closing “Misirlou” cover, which matched all the propulsion of the original.

With an ability to already command a stage, and a debut record, On Ludlow, due out March 6, High Waisted are poised to be one of indie music next-big-things in 2016. - New Monkey Music

"High Waisted Bring Their Bittersweet, Surf-Drenched Noir Sounds to the Mercury"

Don’t let the visuals – Freud would have a field day with the band’s frontpage web pic – mislead you. High Waisted really know their classic surf rock, and their 60s noir, and frontwoman Jessica Louise Dye’s high, clear, disarmingly direct voice adds understatedly striking contrast and frequent poignancy. Much as it’s unfair to compare this New York band with Australian noir powerpop legends the Passengers, or to put Dye’s voice up against the spine-tingling Angie Pepper, either way the similarity is striking: wounded ingenue out in front of a fiery, moody retro band. High Waisted’s new album On Ludlow makes an unlikely but refreshingly original candidate for one of 2016’s best releases. they’re playing the album release show tomorrow night, March 3 at 9:30 PM at the Mercury. Cover is $10.

The opening track, Trust is a noir mashup of doo-wop and surf rock building toward Lynchian angst with a sad, soul-infused vocal. Dye takes a mere lighthearted, nonchalant approach to some suspicious activity in the matter-of-factly wry, 60s girl-group infused Party in the Back, over Stephen Nielsen’s burning guitars and Jeremy Hansen’s snapping bass.

Shithead isn’t the novelty song the title implies: it’s an amped-up, straightforward, sad Twin Peaks kiss-off number with a bittersweetly ringing web of latin-infused reverb guitar behind the vocals. Likewise, Door builds a surreal, starlit mashup of wounded 50s pop balladry, Orbison noir and current-day, reverb-cloud surf: think a chirpier Fabienne Delsol backed by Strange But Surf.

Gold Tooth sounds like it’s going to be just another lame detour into post-Strokes Bushwick poser-rock until the band hits that first gorgeous chorus and then takes it into chord-chopping Dick Dale territory. After that, Hey Hey makes a return to wistfully amped-up major/minor changes.

Shanghai Spy is a blistering minor-key surf rock instrumental, and ironically the album’s best song, bringing to mind a more polished, less overtly macabre Ghost Scorpion. Wait takes a familiar, swaying Ventures hook and makes a Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood Vegas garage-pop escape anthem out of it, drummer Jono Bernstein pushing its surf drive, Nielsen firing off a savage blast of chord-chopping when the band hits the peak midway through.

Nuclear Lover isn’t about Dick Cheney or a Fukushima girlfriend: instead, the band grafts a moodily attractive chorus to an insistent mid-80s Cure verse. Maybe Baby has a distantly ominous om post-Phil Spector twinkle beefed up by the clang of the guitars: as the girl in the story professes her love to some random guy, you just know she’s going to get her heart broken. The album winds up with the album’s second instrumental. Kitchen Safari, a swirly spy theme that wouldn’t be be out of place in the Lost Patrol catalog. All this is totally retro yet totally in the here and now: it’s awfully cool to see this band putting their own original spin on a classic, angst-fueled 60 sound.

If you want to hear the album, it’s streaming at one of the web’s suckiest blogs – make sure your ad blocker’s working and mute the sound til you know the coast is clear. In the meantime, until it hits Spotify, there’s lots of good live and studio stuff at the band’s soundcloud and youtube channels. - New York Music Daily

"Impose Magazine"

No strangers to the pages of Impose Magazine, NYC-based rockers High Waisted have made a name for themselves with their riotous live shows and infectious surf-inflected sound. That aesthetic seems to be making a shift of sorts as the band recently released two new singles, “Free Throw” and “Firebomb,” out now via the venerable Asbury Park-based label Little Dickman Records.


“Free Throw” is High Waisted’s most complete song to date rooted in a brilliant indie-pop-rock structure as Jessica Dye’s (lead vox, guitar) vocals soar and snarl over an impassioned chorus.

“I used to assume the older you get the less fearful of failure you would be, but if anything, that worry just intensifies,” Dye muses on “Free Throw.” “It’s easy to feel hopeless even though you’re working as hard as you can towards a goal and it still isn’t enough. I think everyone can relate to this dark thought.”

On the other half, “Firebomb” is a straight rock burner that evokes iconoclasts like The Runaways and never lets up.

Dye refers to it as a, “feminist rock and roll war cry. I’m not ashamed to love foolishly. I value my self worth in relationships and hope this banger encourages other women to do the same with confidence and fearlessness of rejection.”

Stream High Waisted’s “Free Throw” and “Firebomb” and be sure to catch them in a city near you detailed below. - Impose Mag

"The Deli"

With the release of two new singles while embarked on an extensive U.S. tour, Brooklyn’s High Waisted look to expand their reach. Moving beyond the garage and surf rock beginnings, this newer material appears to take on a broader scope. “Free Throw” is an anxious chugger that expresses internal self-doubt. “Wish I couldn’t remember - the mistake I made. I’ll be better on my own.” Although recorded in NY, the Nashville touch on mixing and mastering adds a subtle level of country-pop sheen. “Firebomb” stomps harder with more prominent drums, crunchy rock guitars and Jessica’s sassy snarl lead vocals matched against dreamier background voices. Both tracks come paired with two others from current tour mates The Coax, available now on vinyl and digital from Little Dickman Records. Their current US tour has them playing nearly every night until early November before the band returns home on November 4th at Rough Trade. - Dave Cromwell - The Deli

"All Things Go"

On a recently released split, New York alternative outfit High Waisted shared two new tracks – “Free Throw” and “Firebomb”. At a steady, almost hasty pace, “Free Throw” introducest the uninitiated to the northeast, which has always produced a special brand of punk and alternative sounds. That special twang is accompanied by the smoothness of near pop vocals, leaving us wondering which musical wires were crossed and when. As we are blended masterfully into “Firebomb”, we’re hit with the rough winds more characteristic of the genre – gritty, anthemic distortion that need not explain itself further. Listen below.

This new split is with labelmates The Coax and is out now on Little Dickman Records - All Things Go

"Culture Collide"

We caught up to chat with High Waisted in their van while they were literally crossing into the great state of California to chat tour tactics and staying sane on the road.

Favorite meal your grandmother used to make that reminds you of home:

Stuffed bell peppers in red sauce.

Must have tour bus/van snacks:

Chips and salsa, hummus and tomatoes, Greek yogurt with fruit, Flaming Hot Cheetos, string cheese.

Top 5 travel must haves on the road:

Make up wipes.
Electrical tape.
A cooler.
Microwaveable bowl.
Extra long phone chargers.
Pre show drink:

Topo Chico.

Post show drink:

Ice cold PBR.

Favorite city to have a day off:

Austin, Texas so we can go swimming and eat too many tacos.

Favorite city to play:

Anywhere in Ohio because the people are so nice.

Best city to go see a show and what venue:

Blockhouse Bar in Bloomington, Indiana. The space is beautiful with wood walls, plush vintage couches and chairs and tons of dark corners to whisper secrets in. Plus, they have habanero beer on draft!

Favorite road meal:

Home cooked meals by friends and family. We do a lot of soups and salads.

Favorite ice cream flavor:

Chocolate and peanut butter.

If you could go to one city and have one meal what would it be and where would you go:

El Taco De Mexico in Denver, Colorado. It’s a no frills hole in the wall but they have the best green chili burritos and creepy neon lighting.

Who is the van DJ and what do they play:

We like to listen to entire records, and listen to the bands we’re playing with. The driver gets to DJ. Stephen jams old country records. Jono loves dream pop and psychedelic tunes. Richey throws mini van dance parties with gothic new wave jams. Jess likes to put in podcasts and comedy.

Room service order:

We have never had this luxury but it would probably be grilled cheese and champagne.

What city inspires you musically:

The scenery. Conflict. Global state of affairs. Misogyny. Sunsets. The lower east side. Hangovers. Married men.

Studio Seamless order when recording:


What’s in your rider:

Water, cider, veggie platter.

Weirdest place you’ve ever written a song:

Riding a bicycle. The toilet.

Google Maps or Waze:

Waze for life.

Snapchat or IG:

IG. Duh.

Uber or Lyft:

Walk or take the van. - Culture Collide


On Ludlow (full length)
Acid Tapes Vol. 1

Acid Tapes Vol. 2
Pabst Wax 7"
Acid Tape Vol. 3
Pabst Wax 7" SXSW Edition
Self Love 7"



High Waisted will be your new feminist girl gang! Quirky 60's garage rock is re-imagined from the nose of a surfboard, making High Waisted feel like a psychedelic lullaby. NYC surf rockers with pop sensibilities and an affliction for rock and roll. They’ve been called NME Magazine’s “Buzz Band to Watch,” declared “The Ultimate Party Band” by GQ and have received praise from Consequence of SoundNoisey, and Paste.  With their sophomore album underway, the band released an interactive 360 degree music video for their track "Hey Hey" in collaboration with Refinery29, performed a live session at Nylon Magazine
Paste Magazine, as well as a stripped down set for Sofar Sounds.  The group spent most of 2016 and 2017 touring the country, playing both Riot Fest in Chicago and Denver as well as supporting such acts as Har Mar Superstar, Jessica Hernandez, La Sera, Diarrhea Planet, and La Luz.  Dye also performs with The Hold Steady.  High Waisted were declared one of the buzziest bands at SXSW 2017 and just completed a 6 week tour supporting a split 7” (Little Dickman Records) wich debuted on Billboard followed by with a music video premiered on UPROXX.  The group's sophomore record is underway, produced by Tad Kubler (The Hold Steady) and mixed by Arun Bali (Saves The Day). Every show is a party when High Waisted’s lo-fi fuzzy bass, reverb drenched guitars and radiant harmonies mesh to create the melodies of your wave-crashed daydreams.

Band Members