The past few years have been pretty great for Houston born rock band Waterparks. They are fresh off their most high-profile tour with rapper/singer blackbear, just newly signed to alternative mega label Fueled By Ramen, and had their 2019 song “Telephone” featured in Netflix’s hit series Heartstopper. What is next for the band? Well a new album and an almost fully sold out tour to accompany it of course!
This new album, titled Intellectual Property, will grace our ears in exactly a month from today. But do not fret, if you want to hear new Waterparks now, they have been drip feeding us singles from the upcoming project for about a year now. If you are already a fan of Waterparks, this is great news! What are you doing here? Go stream these songs. If you are not, well stay here so I can tell you exactly why you should be.
Today I will be ranking these singles in order of which you should check them out, old fan or new fan. So, without further ado, lets start off our ranking with:
“Funeral Grey” serves as the lead single for Intellectual Property released on May 13, 2022. It earns its title as lead single with flying colors. The song serves as a perfect lead in to this new era, sounding enough like their older stuff for established fans and with a fresh enough sound for any new fans to get hooked.
Speaking of hooked, this hook is beyond catchy. It was one of the instant draws for me upon first listen. Give this one a listen and it will be stuck in your head all day. Not to mention as soon as this chorus hits, it feels like a shot of pure ecstacy. The song really captures that feeling of meeting a brand new person that leaves you feeling obsessed and in love instantly.
Ignoring all of that this song is just the perfect summer vibe. I personally listened to this on repeat all of summer 2022, so it is coming from a place of experience. The instrumental has a nice laid back guitar riff that sounds like it would be the perfect beach soundtrack on its own. Whether you are sipping a lemonade by the pool or just dancing around in your room, you cannot go wrong with this song.
Taking a sharp turn from the lead single to the final single, “Brainwashed” was just recently dropped this past weekend on March 10, 2023. Fitting to have the two next to each other on the list. If I am being completely honest though, these first two can really go hand in hand. They are almost sister songs. It has that right amount of appeal to both sets of fans and anyone who does not know this band.
It is a bit more of a pop leaning song with a super catchy chorus. It even has a similar subject matter to “Funeral Grey”. The song is all about how crazy you feel when a brand new love interest comes along. This one ups it a bit by having our main character actually be in the persons life instead of just a chance meeting. There is a few reasons this one is over “Funeral Grey” though. For one, it has a bit more of those Waterparks-isms to make it a little different. The subject matter gets a bit crazier (like genuinely) and we get a couple near rap parts on the bridge. While not as summery as the previous song, it makes up for it by being the slightest bit more unique than the last.
F**k About It w/ blackbear
Next up we have a rare occurrence in the Waterparks discography: a collaboration. The tour was not the only thing to happen between the band and rapper/singer blackbear. Now they have a song together! This particular track was the third single from the album dropped after weeks of teasing on October 14, 2022.
Immediately we can tell this song is a departure from the previous two. On top of it being a collab with blackbear, it fits a lot more into his style as well. This track sounds a lot more dark and brooding than before. We still have the lowkey strumming guitar backdrop, but it feels a lot heavier and less bright. The subject matter falls into this as well. The song follows a relationship where the main character feels trapped and all they do to ‘fix’ their problems is…well, look at the title.
Despite all of this, it is still quite a good song. Waterparks can sell the tired and despondent lover who just wants out of the relationship. Both parties here have good performances too. Our guest blackbear pretty much invented this kind of sound so he naturally kills his verse. This song is placed here if you wanted to switch it up a bit. The two songs before were fun and quirky so the more serious song is a nice juxtaposition. If you want to go back to that previous sound though…
We have our second single from the project “Self-Sabotage“, which was released a few months after “Funeral Grey” on July 8, 2022. Moving away from the bit of self-seriousness we had on the last song, we go back into good old-fashioned Waterparks weirdness. For starters we have the comedic lyrics about all the ways Awsten will sabotage his relationships. This all seems to be subconscious though as we see in lyrics such as “what the f**ck is wrong with me” or “I want this to work so bad, but I always want what I can’t have”.
The sound is a lot more fun than the last track as well. We start with the rollicking guitar over the chorus, and then the hard hitting breakdown on the chorus. The chorus also features these strange woops that just give that extra little hit of weirdness to make this even better. Weirdly enough, this song got the most attention from the band as well. It got two remixes (one with major influence Good Charlotte) and the longest gap between singles throughout the album cycle. This makes it seem like the bands favorite, so you should absolutely check this one out.
Real Super Dark
Rounding out our list we have “Real Super Dark” released on January 26, 2023. I want you to go listen to this song before I tell you anything about it. Don’t worry I’ll wait. Are you done? Do you see why this song is last? Yeah, I know right. Out of the five singles released for this album this one has to be the most goofy and hard-hitting song of them all. This song is not for you unless you are a huge fan of the band or you really want to hear something different.
This song sounds like a full on mental breakdown in the best way possible. Everything works together to make a beautiful chaotic mess. For starters, the instrumental serves as their most industrial one yet. It has so much going on from the strange hyena sounding synths, to the fast paced notes over the verses, and the destructive bass and drums that hit throughout the chorus. Also, the fact that Awsten is straight up just screaming over a lot of this track helps play into that. I could keep going but describing this song is just not the same as hearing it. So, if you did not listen to it earlier when I said to, do it now. Please.
That caps off our list of singles. I hope you are now a Waterparks fan or at least have a new appreciation for these songs. I do not know how neither could apply. If you want to hear more Waterparks now I have linked a playlist full of some of their best songs for you to hear. I hope to see you at the Intellectual Property listening party in a month.