Posts Tagged With: Watter

The Devil Is People – Bonnie Stillwater

First posted on echoesanddust.com.

Across an incredibly extensive career, musician and song-writer Will Oldham has offered up an incredibly array of releases under the moniker of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, weaving together mystical elements pulled out of some belly of some mystical and ethereal beast. Oldham’s latest release sees himself teaming up with experimental rock group Watter, and Stillwater Artisanal (A brewery/art company based in Baltimore), all released under the new name of Bonnie Stillwater. The new collaborative release features the incredible title track, as well as a remix from Ex-Tortoise member Bundy K. Brown, whose contribution to the release feels every bit as relevant and important as the title track itself.

‘The Devil Is People’ showcases once again Oldham’s fantastic ability to weave together musical elements and lyrics, backed up by phenomenal contributions by Watter who cement their importance on the recording with effortless ease. Whilst Oldham himself is at the forefront of the tracks, singing of mysterious forces with an almost ethereal yet accessible quality, the collaborative efforts themselves between Oldham and Watter result in a record where every element and technique is as important as each other, showcasing a fine combination of talents and ideas between the respective artists themselves, including Brown’s remix which acts almost like a secondary chapter to the journey as opposed to a simple reinterpretation.

Oldham and Watter’s collaborative release showcases an incredible passion in the creation of music, one where all those involved understand and buy into the concept being presented. Although the musical elements sometimes border the inaccessible, mostly in the incredibly dark and unsettling tone of the music itself, it still comes across as an incredibly vital and important musical release, and one that highlights the respective talents of the artists at some of their best. Although there’s only two tracks being released at this time, there’s enough here to understand the underlying concepts of what is being created, as well as its importance.

Oldham & Watter’s new collaborative effort comes across as one of the most interesting and engrossing releases from Oldham in recent years. ‘The Devil Is People’ doesn’t overshadow any previous effort from any of the musicians, but instead elevates itself as a strong release all on its own merits, joining alongside the many strong prior releases with comfortable ease. Each and every element injected into the tracks seem to just work, offering up a very dark and almost harrowing musical experience that compliments those involved. It’s a very short listening experience at just roughly ten minutes, but it’s all you really need.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • The Devil Is People
  • The Devil Is People (The Cheech Wizard’s Hemiolic Chantey at the Edge of the Anthropocene Epoch)

Bonnie Stillwater’s latest release ‘The Devil Is People’ is out now.

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Categories: EPs, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This World – Watter

The new post-rock group Watter, comprised of members Zak Riles (Grails), Britt Walford (Slint) and Tyler Trotter, offer up their debut album effort titled ‘This World’. The new album expands upon what the three performers and creators know, offering an interesting instrumental rock experience that will certainly find itself pleasing to fans of the members’ previous works, as well as those who simply enjoy more experimental slants to the post-rock genre. An incredibly dark and foreboding element runs throughout ‘This World’, forming the basis of what comes across as an incredibly strong album effort.

Watter seem to have combined their collective talents together in order to present both an interesting and enjoyable album experience. There’s some rather experimental ideas present on the album, both in terms of the sound being generated by the band, as well as how the album itself is presented by its varying tracks. For the most part it’s all an incredibly interesting album experience, with the longer tracks being particularly noteworthy moments. Watter spent a lot of time building up as much atmosphere and presence as they can with these tracks, making them stand out both on the album and within their genre.

Whilst ‘This World’ features some brilliant ideas here and there, the album experience itself is marred by a few instances. The album itself seems to come across as a collection of recordings, rather than one clearly thought-out album experience. At times, a hint of an underlying element seems to come through, but whatever the element is, it doesn’t seem to be coming out as strong as Watter might like. Some people might as well find the transition from the more darker atmospheric tracks to the acoustic-tinged tracks a little to jarring as well to really work for the album itself, though something about the sudden shift in dynamic seems to work on some level.

The more subtle elements of Watter’s debut effort seem to present the whole album experience as a strong one, despite some flaws here and there. There’s an incredible amount to enjoy from the new group, who delve into a collaborative effort with such ease. ‘This World’ features a good selection of incredibly strong tracks, featuring some interesting elements here and there that certainly separate Watter away from the many bands working in the same genre. One can only hope that Watter won’t end up as a brief side project, and that the three musicians will one day reunite to produce even more brilliant music.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Rustic Fog
  • Small Business
  • Sea Water
  • This World

Watter’s debut album ‘This World’ is out now.

Categories: Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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