Saturday, 25 April 2015

Album Review: Waterstrider - 'Nowhere Now'

Waterstrider Nowhere Now

Waterstrider, 'Nowhere Now' single

Info: Oakland band Waterstrider released their second album, Nowhere Now, earlier this month, the title track and first single of which was reviewed in March here, and for which I received a lot of positive feedback from Irish bands since, and rightly so. 'Nowhere Now' (above) is a perfect alternative indie rock song which is highly addictive and showcases front man Nate Salman's distinct vocal range and sound very well.

What of the other tracks? Like those who enjoyed the single I was curious as to what the whole album would sound like, so it was great to get stuck into it so soon afterwards. Opening with the melodic and restrained 'White Light', the tone is set for an up and down mood, bouncing persistently between lo-fi and then self-described afro-beats producing a collection of songs that perk your ears stand out. Straight after you get the picture with 'Redwood' which trundles determinedly like a steam engine through it's percussion with the congas keeping everything tightly together. 

Waterstrider, 'Soundless Sea'

A rather emotive track comes in the form of 'Soundless Sea' (above), vocally an absolute joy to listen to, the soft intro accentuated by the gentle single note bass playing which leads to an almost forlorn guitar riff, a close runner for best track behind 'Nowhere Now'. The second single on the album comes in the form of 'Passing Ships', the music ripples on this one with the lyrics touching on human relationships, happiness and taking stock of life. It's the last time I'll mention the vocals because I can't bring them up for every time but on 'Just a Taste' they are soaring, at times filtered to good effect, it's like Chris Isaak and Stevie Nicks doing a duet, but with only one voice, it also delves into a darker arena, and the guitar playing fits the mood perfectly. 

Of the remaining tracks 'Calliope' is like a lo-fi version of Cansei De Ser Sexy's (CSS) 'Let's Make Love & Listen To Death From Above' and closing track 'Black Blood' gets at the old heartstrings again, nods to Bon Iver, Band of Horses and Mercury Rev. Nowhere Now is like the album you used to buy before the Internet on CD, you go in dark, and hope for the best, because you've gone on recommendations and possibly heard none of the music, from memory that only paid of one in three times if you were lucky, this would have been one of the lucky times, it's a beautifully arranged album, and both rewarding and touching.

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