A lot of people knew about the five-person band based out of Gainesville, Hundred Waters, before they gained popularity in America. So when they signed to OWSLA (owsla.com), the record label owned by Skrillex, many music lovers in Gainesville wondered why. Their music is infinitely different from that of the rest of the musicians signed to that label.
“We ultimately realized that it was more important to join a family that believes in what you do rather than a catalog of artists that might be similar to you,” Zach Tetreault, the percussionist for the band, said in an interview with Pitchfork.
Hundred Waters is made up of Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, Paul Giese, Zach Tetreault and Sam Moss. Their sound can be compared to that of Sigur Rós, Feist, Sufjan Stevens and Imogen Heap. It has been recognized as avant-garde, indie and ambient. Full of orchestral sounds, Hundred Waters has gained national attention after The New York Times blog posted a review of their show, titled “CMJ: Hundred Waters Suspends Time,” at Mercury Lounge forCMJ Music Marathon 2012 on Oct. 17.
While Hundred Waters is the first indie band to join the OWSLA family, they released their self-titled debut album onElestial Sound and OWSLA. It is a melodic and ambient experience from first song to the last.
The album starts with the song “Sonnet,” which is heavily based in the lyrics and vocals that hold the core of most of the songs on the album. Being the longest song at just over six minutes, it is a fairy-tale-like tune that draws you into the rest of the album with Miglis’ soothing vocals, soft percussions and woodwind sounds.
The middle of the album is riddled with nu wave pop, indie pop and more upbeat songs than the rest of the album. Songs like “Me and Anodyne,” “Wonderboom” and “Boreal” capture a different side of Hundred Waters that proves their ability to transcend between folk, indie and electronic music.
The song “Are:Or” starts with soothing guitar chords as Miglis’ vocals captivate you and magically take you away to another place. The lyrics soon fade and allow for a guitar solo, but quickly come back to hum with the melody of what sounds like a variety of different strings and a faint horn heard in the background.
The end of the album is noticeably slower than the beginning and middle. If you listen to the album from beginning to end, you are able to realize that the climax of the music has come and gone and now, you are at the resolution. The lyrics are presented slower and the tempo has been slowed down as well.
The only complaint I had about this album is that there was not one signifying, unique moment that set Hundred Waters apart from their prominent comparisons. However, this band is just emerging and watching their progression will be interesting.
From Elle Magazine to the New York Times, Hundred Waters has been claimed to be the new up-and-comers in indie and ambient music. They have gained much attention, not only because of their affiliation with Skrillex, but because of their drive and passion to create good music. They know what they want, musically, and they’re not afraid to produce and release it.
Hundred Waters will be performing in Gainesville on Nov. 3 at High Dive with xxyyxx, Levek and Different Sleep. This will be the last US tour date before the band departs to Europe. Tickets are $10 online.