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The five-piece electronic-folk amalgamation, Hundred Waters, approach everyday listeners from another dominion entirely, a province of rustic affinity and fantastical posits on nature. Where most folk music lives and breathes in its own pastoral prison, Hundred Waters’ self-titled debut LP brings synthesizers, pianos, a gad of horns and Afro-pop bursts to their album for an eclectic and near futuristic angle toward the traditional genre. Romantic, poetic and delicately balanced, Hundred Watersis a beautiful look at some of the natural wonders of life, always led by frontwoman Nicole Miglis’ child-like voice. It’s innocent and fragile, nearing breaking points on almost every track.
Hundred Waters carry with them a surprisingly formal format. The opening song, “Sonnet,” is—literally—a sonnet. The lyrics are word-for-word “Lift Not the Painted Veil Which Those Who Live,” by Percy Shelley, one of the most recognizable poets of the Romantic era. Considering that the lyrics on that song are nothing but borrowed words, it could seem like “Sonnet” is a rather lazy opener; but it’s an elegant and appropriate introduction, like an epigraph at the beginning of a novel. As Miglis repeats Shelley’s famous words, “Through the unheeding many he did move / A splendour among shadows, a bright blot / Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove / For truth, and like the Preacher, found it not,” I’m simultaneously moved by the passion and struck by the stark reality of a world where most are afraid to lift the veil and seek out “Love” and “Truth.”
a project warranting further exploration from us all, myself included. i wrote about gainesville quintet hundred waters back a few months ago, including the sublimely haunting song posted above, ‘caverns,’ but regrettably lost track of them after that. i definitely recommend following this hyperlink over to the dropp for an excellent review of the album and a recording of the fantastic shoegaze tune ‘boreal.’