Every year I go to South By Southwest, there’s always one band I come back from Austin that becomes a slight obsession. 2012’s band was Hundred Waters. I escaped the melee that was 6th Street in Downtown Austin, hopped on my bike and pegged it up to 43rd Street, a decision justified by a gorgeous set from the Gainesville Florida band at their label’s Elestial Sound showcase.
Kaleidoscopic visuals and billowing patterned sheets above their heads gave the gig a cocoon feel. When paired with the warm atmospherics of Hundred Waters’ set it was a comforting temporary blanket fort to get wrapped up in. The band’s debut is no different.
Hundred Waters is an insulating lush album. To spend time in it is to revel in a sumptuous atmosphere. Taking their cues from from the floaty end of indie-pop, the downtempos and wandering instrumentations remind me of Icelandic weirdos Múm but where that band’s sound was covered in the frost of their homeland, Hundred Waters delve into sun-baked sounds.
The voice of Nicole Miglis (she also has a solo EP) are similar in timbre to Andrea Estella of Twin Sister. Her voice shares the roots and equal elegance of country singer Alela Diane. Oh, the graceful harmonies these three could make together.
From the first notes of opener ‘Sonnet’ (A Percy Shelly poem in song form) to piano note quietude of ‘Gather’, there’s a push and pull between folk guitar sounds, vocals and skittering synthetics that cascade around the traditional instruments. The entire album is an abstract and all-encompassing joy worth many revisits.
Buy it here.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.