As I listen to Hundred Waters’ new LP Communicating, I can’t get over how big of a transformation this band has gone through since their first LP. While always carrying that electro-folk genre on their shoulders, they certainly were more on the folk side of things before Skrillex recruited them on his OWSLA label. This album is miles away from their folky origins and, to great surprise, it really works.
The album starts out with an absolute banger in “Particle.” You’re definitely not in Kansas anymore as the beat builds in the bridge and drops heavily over lead singers Nicole Miglis’ soft spoken vocals. The album continues with songs that zig-zag and bounce over so many genres that it gets dizzying at times. “Wave to Anchor” is a wild mix of fast-paced bossanova and funk, definitely this albums most “out there” song. The album grinds to a halt on the beautiful “Parade” with Migilis stealing the show on this piano-based ballad. The rest of the album is nearly devoid of the electro insanity of the first two songs, instead leaning on piano and ambient beats like on songs “Firelight,” thats almost a gospel anthem, and “Communicating.”
I’m only a particle, a drop in you, forever dissolving
Look at us revolving in a glass, intact and trapped
And you can keep it all at bay, always an arm’s length away
But what are we exchanging?
Read between the lines, don’t ask me to repeat it
You’re breaking up
If you’re looking for legacy Hundred Waters anywhere on the album you’ll find some semblance of it on “Fingers” and my personal favorite on the album “At Home & in my Head.” Communicating is a massive step in the direction they began traveling in on The Moon Rang Like a Bell. It’s much more produced and mature, while still maintaining their incredibly diverse use of genres and instruments.