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Hundred Waters – Hundred Waters LP album review

When it comes to bizarre opener/headliner combinations, Hundred Waters and Skrillex are near the top. Hundred Waters are an electronic-folk hybrid from Gainesville, Florida who make soft, almost glistening songs with synths, guitars and an occasional trumpet. Skrillex, well I think you know what he sounds like. Maybe the idea was to have the two acts balance each other out. Or maybe, Skrillex just has good taste in music.

On Sept. 25, the five-piece released Hundred Waters, a reworking of songs from their debut album. “Sonnet,” the first track, takes a Percy Shelley sonnet and pairs it with digitally-altered woodwinds and soft guitars. It shows the combination of classic, folk music and electronic techniques that the album as a whole features. It is what makes Hundred Waters an electronic-folk album, not just one or the other.

“. . . _ _ _ . . . ,” possibly one of the greatest named songs of all time, is a mix of 70’s synths, woodsy beats and something that sounds like pots being hit together. Although it is underwhelming at the start, the song shifts midway through, bursting with flavor and soul. The second half, spacey and ethereal, would probably would be better off on its own.

On their own, the songs on Hundred Waters are underwhelming. Some are, in a way, too fragile. Music needs passion and power to hit you, and a few tracks – “Visitor,” for example – are just a gentle tap on the shoulder. But, when put together, those taps begin to hurt, in only the best way. Hundred Waters should have a warning sticker on the front; “Must be listened to from start to finish.”

The same way that Skrillex leaves you feeling touched and shaken after a long listening session, you feel something after listening to Hundred Waters. It’s a bit of exhaustion, a bit of confusion, and a bit happiness. It’s a good feeling. You should try it.

By Brian Benton

Brian Benton is a student at Washington University in St. Louis, born and raised in the Bay Area. He likes writing, photography, biking, Andrew Jackson Jihad and Childish Gambino.

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