Showing posts with label hundred waters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hundred waters. Show all posts

Monday, June 2, 2014

video review: 'the moon rang like a bell' by hundred waters

Well, this was interesting. Wish it had clicked with me a little better, but I definitely recognize the quality.

Next up... whoa, busy schedule all of a sudden. Probably that Sharon Van Etten album before tackling 50 Cent, Miranda Lambert, and clipping. Stay tuned!

album review: 'the moon rang like a bell' by hundred waters

Let's talk a bit about folktronica.

The genre term was originally coined in the very early 2000s to describe a new genre fusion between traditionally organic folk music and electronica, typically driven by sampling of that instrumentation. And at first glimpse, it was a fusion that made no sense to me: folk was typically a richly organic genre defined by singer-songwriters and intricate lyrics, while lyrics tend to be the last thing that's relevant in most electronic music, especially the material intended for dance. And yet, over the past year with the success of Avicii's debut album TRUE, folktronica began inching into the mainstream, driven partially by the small folk resurgence in 2012 and the continued acceptance of EDM on the mainstream charts. 

Now I was really hard on Avicii's TRUE, and I reckon that while I don't think the album works all the way, it has grown on me a bit for some reasonably decent songwriting, shockingly solid organic elements, and great melodic composition. My issue with that album always came back to the fact that the electronica elements felt underweight in comparison with the richer folk sounds, but it was a sign that perhaps the genre fusion could work, and thus I resolved to keep my eyes open for any possibilities this might crop up in the future.

Enter Hundred Waters, a newer indie band from Florida who achieved some measure of critical acclaim with their self-titled debut album that critics were branding folktronica. And it was a very different animal than Avicii - or indeed from Skrillex, who signed them to his vanity label in 2012 - instead taking more cues from quieter, more understated electonica in the vein of James Blake. Hundred Waters opted for fluttering hollow synths against tightly composed guitar lines, every piece coming together to create beautifully organic compositions. Now I wouldn't say that self-titled debut was perfect - I was unsure how much I liked the very breathy vocals from Nicole Miglis, and the songwriting had moments that came across as a little too precious and cute for my personal tastes - but there was talent here and while I wished the folk elements were played up a little more in the compositions, I was interested in their sophomore record The Moon Rang Like A Bell. So how did that go?