Nova Flares is the solo project of Jason Wagers, whose music as a solo artist cleverly combines shoegaze with neo-psychedelic and surf rock. Nova Flares is the solo project of Jason Wagers, whose music as a solo artist cleverly combines shoegaze with neo-psychedelic and surf rock. The result is mighty fine bedroom jangly surf pop packed with flowing dreamy harmony and charming, lo-fi goodness. This hypnotic guitar shimmer packs the magic punch intended.
Hailing from Berea, Kentucky, he moved to Louisville at 18 with his previous band The Corridors. Four years later, they finally released their debut album on CD, only to be crushed by a British record label claiming to represent a band by the same name and ordering the band cease using this name. By that time, Wagers was eager to start a solo project in a completely new direction. While The Corridors played eclectic rock, Wagers wanted to create a very specific atmosphere in his new compositions.
This music is heavily influenced by neo-psychedelic bands of the 90’s through to those currently active, such as Black Market Karma, Mystic Braves, Holy Wave and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Jason Wagers has dubbed his sound “surfgaze”, the style borrowing gazey elements that can be traced back to My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Beach Fossils and The Jesus and Mary Chain, while also being influenced by surf and beach-goth-psych bands like The Growlers, La Luz, The Warlocks and the Allah-Las.
The bright, reactive sound of this music inspired the project’s name ‘Nova Flares’. A nova is an astronomical event causing the sudden appearance of a bright, apparently ‘new’ star that slowly fades from view. This involves an interaction between two stars and cause a flare up, which is perceived as a new entity that is much brighter than the stars involved. Ironically, this new project was also born from the destruction of The Corridors.
“The songs I create through Nova Flares are supposed to be very cinematic and capture memories and feelings from situations I’d experienced in my childhood and adult life, but these songs are also meant to be left open ended so that the listener could have their own personal sensory experience as well,” says Jason Wagers.
Playing in bands and writing music since the age of 14, he eventually learned enough in the music sphere to start producing his own records, appreciative of the freedom and ability to record his own songs and release his own records. Growing beyond guitar to also bass guitar, drums and piano and also dabbling with vocals over the years. His Nova Flares project provided the perfect opportunity to develop his skills even further.
“Nova Flares is my next step up as a project. I am more excited than ever to share my new music with the world! These songs are past experiences expressed through sound. Each song is applicable as a personal sonic memoir to the listener,” explains Wagers. “I imagined video sequences while recording every song for this project and, as a result, all of the songs sound very cinematic and picturesque.”