Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell (Album Review)

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Indie band, Hundred Waters, was formed in Gainesville, Florida in autumn 2011, and in the following spring they released their self-titled debut via local label Elestial Sound. That summer, Hundred Waters became the first indie act to sign with Skrillex’s OWSLA record label, releasing EP ‘Thistle (Remixes)’, followed by a re-release of their album.

Their follow-up album, ‘The Moon Rang Like a Bell’, is set for release later this May, including previously released singles ‘XTalk’, ‘Cavity’ and ‘Down From the Rafters’ (available for immediate download when the album is preordered from iTunes).

The album opens with the very unexpected ‘Show Me Love’; little more than one minute in length, it’s an acapella choral piece announcing that this album is not going to follow any kind of well-worn path. These guys are finding their own way cross-country, even if they have to fight their way through a bramble thicket or two.

Second track, ‘Murmurs’, brings in even more unexpected elements. With a dark and ghostly, yet strangely optimistic sound, it dances between electropop, classic piano, choral harmonies, making it near impossible to pin down. But I think that’s probably what Hundred Waters are all about.

‘Cavity’ takes things to a much darker, atmospheric level, which permeates through the rest of the album like a satin ribbon, even in tracks like the light and summery ‘Out Alee’ and the electropop ‘[Animal]’. ‘Broken Blue’ pulls this even further; a sinister yet beautiful track, exploring gothic romantic sensibilities. There’s a sensuality throughout the album too, a seduction. It’s like being invited in, being led to the bedroom. It’s intimate and enticing, sexy and exotic.

There’s so much beauty here; with the ethereal, breathy vocals, offering glimpses of another world, another existence. ‘Down From the Rafters’ is awe-inspiring in its grace and subtlety, while ‘Seven White Horses’ grows into something multi-faceted and epic. The album closes with the stunning ‘No Sound’; mixing soundscape and ghostly vocals.

Every song contains another twist, another surprise, and Hundred Waters have balanced the album perfectly. It’s unexpected and brave, confident in its own uniqueness.