Making a strangewave

Dayton duo album release at Springfield show

By Justin Kreitzer
Photo: Strangewave celebrate the release of their debut, Pop Noir,on June 29 in Springfield; Photo credit: M. Kelly Wilt

Strangewave is an emerging indie rock band made up of songwriters J. Trenton Crace and Katrina Eresman of Dayton. Their psychedelic dream-pop blooms with layers of guitars, glimmering synths and Eresman’s breathy, beautiful vocals and, much like indie favorites Beach House, their catchy pop melodies are wrapped in a gauzy, noise-addled veneer.

The duo will release Pop Noir, their promising debut album at the record release show at Ambience in Springfield on Saturday, June 29.

Both Trent and Katrina took the time for an interview in anticipation of their record release show.

How did strangewave form?

I met Katrina in 2007, right when I had started to consider giving up music all together. She turned me on to some really, really great artists like The Olivia Tremor Control, Cat Power. She took me to see Blonde Redhead. I started writing songs again for the first time in a long time. Meanwhile, she was writing some pretty amazing stuff. I wrote and recorded a couple of solo albums and Katrina would play drums for me live. We started doing some of her stuff at those shows and I’d play drums for her.  ­– J. Trenton Crace

Trent was writing quite a bit for some period of time several years ago, and he got me started on it. I always liked his stuff. It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to write a song had he not suggested it. I remember when we wrote “Escape.” We had been practicing a lot together, and one day we were lazily messing around on two guitars. When I say lazily messing around, I mean we were sitting and laying around on my dining room floor. But we ended up coming up with a progression and a lead we were really excited about which ended up being the verse of “Escape.” – Katrina Eresman

What other musical projects were you involved in prior to strangewave?

Quite a few years ago, I played drums for a celtic-rock band, Homeland. That was a wonderful experience. It gave me a real idea of what it meant to be in a good band. More recently, I’ve played drums in a handful of country bands.  – JTC

I’ve played some solo acoustic shows around the area and in Cincinnati. My first major experience was playing in a full band last late winter with Trent. I’m a rock-n-roll virgin. – KE

 Who are your musical influences and what else inspires your art?  

The more influential artists – ones that really changed me – are Talk Talk, Neutral Milk Hotel, Tori Amos, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Mark Kozelek. I still listen to In Utero a lot. I also get really inspired by film. Certain filmmakers really turn me on, like Danny Boyle, Steve McQueen, David Lynch. What’s really cool about Katrina and I is that while we have similar influences, our influences also differ. I listen to alt-country way more than she does and she listens to jazz more than me. But we both love Cocteau Twins and Joni Mitchell! – JTC

I listened to a lot of oldies and Beatles with my mom when I was little, and my dad used to make me classical mix-tapes. When I first started writing I was really fascinated with Blonde Redhead and very taken by Elliott Smith. I like it when I hear music that gives me visions and pictures. I’m effortlessly creating the perfect music video and visual tone and imagery for the song. I have a tendency to have exaggerated sentimental or emotional experiences listening to music, and I’m inspired by the potency and depth I experience in other people’s songs. – KE

Hypothetically, what one current and one older song do you wish you would have written? 

“Pancho And Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt. I don’t write country music, but that song is perfect! I don’t listen to much current stuff but “This Chain Won’t Break” by Wild Nothing is a marvelous tune. – JTC

My current song would be “A Link In The Chain” by Polvo. The first time I listened to that song, I was in shock. It was like this entirely new, beautiful universe. And my older song would be “I Talk To The Wind” by King Crimson. – KE

Your newly released debut album is titled Pop Noir; that title seems perfect for your music.  What was the concept behind the album?    

We came up with Pop Noir after the fact. Even though the songs are actually quite diverse, there was something common amongst them; our taste for melody and darker tones. –JTC

What are your future plans for the band?

I’ve been working on some writing while Trent has been mixing the album. We’d like to release an EP in the early fall! Otherwise, keep playing out, continue to enjoy ourselves and see where we can take this. – KE

Yes, we definitely plan on writing and recording a lot. We did tons of pre-production for Pop Noir. Just the two of us, in a room, for hours on end, poring over every single note. That’s exciting, mostly because it’s so challenging. It involves a lot of big ideas, and sweat, and occasionally, maniacal laughter. I can’t wait to do that again! There is some nameless, unreachable goal when you’re writing music. We’re both committed to getting as close as we can. – JTC

Strangewave will celebrate their album release on Saturday, June 29 at Ambience, 310 W. Main St. in Springfield. Doors at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. For more information visit or

Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at

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