Hundred Waters
Communicating


4.0
excellent

Review

by jack CONTRIBUTOR (62 Reviews)
September 17th, 2017 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ...in echoes.

Halfway between abject dreariness and flashing lights, this record collapses. It’s a wishlist that covers bases indiscriminately, reaching out for comfort amongst the noise; the kind of album that suffers through parties where any and all conversation is drowned out by the onslaught of billboard-type remixes. But Communicating, retreating into itself, is also a patient piece of work: Prison Guard is an afternoon stroll with nary a destination in mind, as the sky pulls a quilt of grey cloud over itself, while At Home & In My Head withholds its scintillating groove long enough for us to actively begin searching for it ourselves.

By way of a deliberate contrast, there are moments here that pivot around a lyric that cuts right to the heart of its melancholic source. ”Come home to me” is one of those stunningly direct lines, marking a midpoint between vocalist Nicole Miglis and the listener, as if she speaks for each and every soul steeped in sorrow. It’s odd that -- for a voice so reserved, so purposefully distant -- Miglis emerges as one to ask questions that somehow triumph over the thick, billowing haze that Hundred Waters conjure. In Communicating, the titular refrain (”are we communicating?”) passes through stages that make it feel more like an ultimatum than a passing remark: it expects an answer at first, then seems to resolve itself before it’s layered underneath ”it’s so complicating”, and the two phrases become one, Miglis capitulating to the irreparable void between her and her muse.

That little run, consisting of the title-track and Blanket Me, is perfect. It’s powerful enough to render the rest of this fantastic little album irrelevant. At one point earlier today, I told one of our very own, Blush, that it could well be the “accompaniment to a life-affirming moment one day”, and I stand by that, adamantly so. Blanket Me’s steady build -- that slow gallop -- leans against the lilt of the piano, before moving into its own with the assurance of a moment that knows it has the last forty minutes of material to support its ascent. It’s a soundtrack for the slow-motion, climactic montage from every indie film you’ve ever seen, but it sidesteps notions of mawkishness, touching on vulnerabilities that would normally stay hidden. As the track determinedly marches forward, Miglis repeats the eponymous phrase until she is numb to its purpose. And we end up the same; the lyric begins to feel like her last words, eventuating like the whisper of the ocean in a seashell. If you’ve ever called out for someone who has their back irrevocably turned, this song is Miglis’ gift to you: it’s an intimate moment dressed up in an epic climax, a tectonic shift in perspective occurring mid-song.

It feels pertinent to discuss these two tracks on their own because, well, they’re breathtaking, but also because they represent the point in a relationship where tensions puncture the veneer of good will and amicability. The rest of the album is lovely, but it feels like it exists just so that these songs can land with the weight of such a rich history. This small section of the record is also what will keep me returning to Communicating: to take the journey with Miglis to that point, to relive the scenes that led us to the end. But it’s not because I derive some sort of sadistic pleasure from the experience, it’s because Hundred Waters -- as a band, as a group of people -- evoke the importance of forming bonds strong enough to cope with the consequences. If nothing else, they’ve communicated that much.



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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is amazing and will probably end up a 4.5 but for now have this review because i might take a break i feel like i'm posting more than i should ok i'm going to sleep now night

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2017


6282 Comments


all this is is your gy!be review with the album/artist/track names swapped out 😕

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can you explain please

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1771 Comments


roasted

not that im gonna take the time to justify myself and agree with johnny on any certain terms

oh and nice work jackers, great stuff

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
September 17th 2017


6282 Comments


@landdiving - thought it was an obvious joke based on your first comment itt

Lucid
September 17th 2017


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the title track is the worst song here lol. 'wave to anchor' and 'fingers' are far superior yet they went unmentioned. oh well... i like what you say about 'blanket me' at least

"The rest of the album is lovely, but it only exists so that these songs can land with the weight of such a rich history" you listened to this album once? twice at most?

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

about 4 or 5 times today

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


5401 Comments


Can confirm, was stalking Jack on Spotify and was counting the entire time.

Lovely write-up - to kinda look over a few tracks might seem a bit unfair, but then I won't really know till I listen to it, will I

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@jots -- sorry! you had me worried because reading back over this, it does feel tonally similar to that one, but it happened by complete accident

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers Aaron and ramon

BlushfulHippocrene
September 17th 2017


1904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great work, Jack. I love the seashell line and how it relates to the idea of the epic within the intimate (and vice-versa), as well as perhaps the first point regarding comfort within, though not outside, oneself. Which I find fascinating, to say the least.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


11535 Comments


Oh yeah, i've been keen on giving this one a listen.
Nice one bby.

Lucid
September 17th 2017


8575 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

To clarify my comment earlier: this was a narrative built on first day impressions, so it's a bit odd to state with such certainty that two songs are the most important and the rest of the record only exists to bolster their impact. Your favorite section can shift from day to day, so I'm more inclined to trust such an assessment if the writer has sat on the record for a while. Sorry for the dismissiveness of the initial comment.

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no it's okay!! i get why it seems like i'm rushing an opinion for the sake of the review, but fwiw those two struck me the most on first listen and haven't let up since, and i've listened to them alone about 2/3 times as much as the record in its full form. i also kind of operate on the assumption that this is a (hopefully informed/well-considered) opinion, so perception will change from person-to-person. obviously i don't know if HW wrote the album based around those two songs, but that's how it felt to me on first listen and that's how it still feels. ALSO: how could you not like the title track!!!! the way that phrase lands on a different beat every time and is eventually almost subsumed by the instrumental is bluddy hypnotic. thanks 4 ur comment :~)



thanks blush and dan, too ")

EDIT: i reworded that section to make it read more subjective-like lucid : )

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


19081 Comments


I think there's always something to be said about songs that immediately strike you, whether you've listened to the album twice or 100 times. good rev jack, slow down a bit tho cuz like I can't read all these beaut reviews when u post em so fast hahah

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


1774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks cone no more from me for a while i promise

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 17th 2017


19081 Comments


no dont say that ):

Chortles
September 17th 2017


20736 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

wonderful stuff jack. now i have endorsements from both u and lucid to get on this and that i must

Digging: DJ Rashad - Just A Taste

brandontaylor
September 17th 2017


569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idk how you can write a review on this and not mention 'wave to anchor' its one of the best songs of the year so far and has so much joy emanating from it. having said that though, the review is well done and makes me want to listen to this again and give it a rate.

BlushfulHippocrene
September 17th 2017


1904 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wave to Anchor and Blanket Me and maybe Fingers and At Home and In My Head are some of my favourite songs this year, this album is addicting.



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