Finding Your Sound: A Q&A with Austin Oestreich of Indigo Waves

We caught up with him at a show in Rexburg.


With Julia Brunette

Utah-based indie rock band Indigo Waves plays shows across the Mountain West. SLUG Magazine described them as “poppy and polished” and “richly sublime.” Julia Brunette, our Rexburg correspondent, caught them the last time they passed through Idaho and sat down with lead singer Austin Oestreich.

Q: When did you form Indigo Waves?


A: That’s an interesting question because we’ve been playing under this name since like, 2017 or 2018. This past project we released in November was like our first thing where, like, our sound changed completely from our other albums. So I would say this new recent album is kind of like a new direction for us.

Q: How would you compare your sound now to how it was with albums before?

Austin Oestreich performing at The Basement in Rexburg, ID. Photo by Julia Brunette.

A: I was really into bands like Hippocampus, and more guitar-heavy stuff. So we kind of imitated sounds like that. Moving forward, we love what bands like Shimmer Traps are doing. They’re actually like one of our favorite bands. We also like Mac DeMarco-type sounds, you know? So we are just sounding like a different style of Indie.

Q: What three songs should new listeners listen to in order to get to know Indigo Waves?

A: I would say “Thanks,” “Can’t Let Go,” and “Squares.”

Q: What is your songwriting process?

A: Matt does a lot of our production work. He’s really good on the computer and he’s a great mixer. I sing all the tracks, so me and Matt like to write lyrics together. But sometimes we’ll do them independently. Every song is just a little different. We’ve had tracks that we write in ten minutes – the whole song. Like “Can’t Let Go.” We wrote that whole song in ten minutes. Then there are others we have sat on for like a year.


Q: What is that song about?

A: I’m really into environmental activism, I guess. The original meaning of that song was about like poaching and destroying our planet for profit. It’s kind of what the idea of that song started out as. Which, I mean, I don’t have anything against hunters. Hunt! But like, just destroying our planet? I’m not into it. So I think it needs to be like, addressed and talked about. And so that’s what that song was about. For me. And it still means that for me, but the lyrics have changed in it. I don’t even know what it means anymore, but I love performing it.

Make sure to follow Indigo Waves on Instagram and check out their song “Squares” below!


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