Florida band Hundred Waters, coming off their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘The Moon Rang Like A Bell,’ release their first LP since in ‘Communicating.’ The band, who’ve made some waves thanks to their electronically-influenced tracks reminiscent of groups like The xx and Forest Swords, have gotten praise from popular publications such as Pitchfork and SPIN. Aside from a few inconsistencies, this is a solid record filled with memorable moments.
Hundred Waters utilize an eclectic mix of electronica and vocal balladry, the latter delivered by singer Nichole Miglis. Her voice is soft yet piercing, bursting through the mix and demanding center stage. Her performance is impressive, yet at times throughout the record the compositions don’t really hold up.
Songs like ‘Particle’ are where the group fail at creating a rhythmic atmosphere. There’s a lot going on yet the song never really takes off. A few other songs throughout the album suffer from this, yet none as glaring as ‘Particle.’ However, for the most part the band finds that sweet spot between moody electronica and fiery passion.
Tracks like ‘At Home & In My Head’ and ‘Wave to Anchor’ are fun and rhythmic, which on an album littered with piano-laced slow songs is crucial. ‘Firelight’ is another highlight, which boasts an anthemic synth line that would make M83 proud.
An album like this doesn’t necessarily have to have memorable lyrics, but the band does a good job of not phoning it in. Electronica often leans on creating memorable individual moments of euphoria, yet some tracks are fine without them. ‘Blanket Me’s’ haunting atmosphere is accentuated by Miglis’ lyrics, where she describes her lover as her ‘skin.’ It’s not until we hear the name of the song repeated throughout the midsection that we realize just how heartbreaking the song really is, and only once Miglis finishes whispering her last lines of the track do we appreciate the emotional ride we just went on.
It can sometimes be difficult to follow success with something better, but Hundred Waters have turned in a solid album that will undoubtedly earn them more of what they worked so hard for. Look for them to appear on some year-end best lists.
Communicating is out now via OWSLA.