Let’s Start Degeneracy, the long-awaited fourth full-length record from Microwave, is a trip. Its title, taken from a conservative politician’s take on drugs in 1970, captures the band’s newfound liberated spirit, and its tracks play by no one’s rules but their own. At various points the Atlanta trio pull together a multitude of influences ranging from ambient pop and R&B to psychedelia and yes, even Sublime.

Lyrically, Let’s Start Degeneracy is loaded with revelations, some of which came to vocalist/guitarist Nathan Hardy after experiences with ayahuasca in Peru with drummer Timothy “Tito” Pittard. As the pandemic wound down, the two reconvened with bassist/vocalist Tyler Hill and together, found their way back to being Microwave again.

“It’s about letting go of attachments and behaviors that aren’t serving you and trying to shake off your programming and not be motivated by fear and guilt and shame,” says Hardy. “It’s about learning to be happy and take care of yourself.”
“Bored of Being Sad” finds Hardy musing on being a band in the biz––”I was dead, I was looking for companies to sling shirts at the funeral”––and how the idea of ‘sadness’ has been romanticized instead of being treated as something to resolve.

Musically, it’s right up there with one of their most popular tracks, “Lighterless,” in its midtempo mastery; Hardy actually wrote this track in the Much Love days, but it didn’t feel complete until he revisited it when working on Let’s Start Degeneracy.

Microwave recently announced a full U.S. headlining tour for later this spring with DC two-piece Origami Angel, Heart Attack Man and Carpool Tunnel. Both Microwave and Origami Angel will also appear at the inaugural Roundabout Festival in Detroit, MI on March 30, and just ahead of the tour’s official start, Microwave will play their hometown’s longstanding Shaky Knees Festival for the first time.

All tickets on sale

Sat/May-04 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
Tue/May-07 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
Thu/May-09 – Toronto, ON – Operahouse
Fri/May-10 – Lakewood, OH – Roxy
Sat/May-11 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Tue/May-14 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity
Wed/May-15 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
Fri/May-17 – Denver, CO – Ogden
Sat/May-18 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex – Grand Room
Mon/May-20 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Tue/May-21 – Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom
Wed/May-22 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
Thu/May-23 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
Fri/May-24 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
Sat/May-25 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren
Tue/May-28 – Austin, TX – Empire Garage
Wed/May-29 – Dallas, TX – Studio at The Factory
Fri/May-31 – Nashville, TN – The Cannery
Sat/Jun-01 – Charlotte, NC – Amos Southend
Sun/Jun-02 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
Mon/Jun-03 – Columbus, OH – King of Clubs
Wed/Jun-05 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel
Fri/Jun-07 – Boston, MA – Royale
Sat/Jun-08 – Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall
photo by Cameron Flaisch

This summer will mark a decade since Microwave first released their debut LP, Stovall. The years in between include two very different-sounding full-lengths (2016’s Much Love and 2019’s Death Is A Warm Blanket) and countless tours across the US, Canada, Europe, UK, and Australia.

The result is a widespread universe of Microwave fans who speak their same language. Without the confines of genre, plus Hardy’s vulnerable approach to lyrics tackling subjects like religious trauma, drugs, sex-positivity, and mental health, it’s no surprise their fans connect with the band on a much deeper level.