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Darker Waves Brought New Wave Nostalgia To The Southern California Beach

Over the last several years, you may have noticed a proliferation of nostalgia-driven package festivals, the likes of When We Were Young and Just Like Heaven, which curate lineups derived from specific eras and genres. Back in June, Darker Waves was one of the new names to enter the fray. Similar to Cruel World, Darker Waves is a new wave and goth festival that takes place a little outside of LA. (Darker Waves’ inaugural lineup actually shared many names with Cruel World’s original outing last year.) You could be cynical about these things — another instance of corporate cash-ins on constant retro cycles, the theoretically expansive and exploratory nature of festivals narrowed for the era of algorithmic fandom silos. But if a specific festival of this ilk happens to tap into your favorite music — as Darker Waves does for mine — it can provide a unique chance to see a bunch of artists you may have never seen before, and may never see again.

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