The most interesting thing about Gainesville’s Hundred Waters
and their freaked-out folk isn’t the fact that they’re signed to OWSLA, the label founded by dubstep goliath Skrillex, or their fondness for sprightly Kate Bush-like theatricality that sometimes tries my patience—it’s the fearless ambition with which they twist and play with their music. On their self-titled debut full-length
, they take plenty of left turns—the glitchy electro beats and funk bass on “Thistle,” the occasional Road Runner-appropriate cartoon sound effect on “Theia”—that it seems too confining to categorize them as any kind of “folk,” no matter how bizarre the subgenre. Nicole Miglis’s frail, airy vocals and the music’s occasional orchestral pageantry help establish a free-spirited vibe—well, that and the band’s tendency to go barefoot at photo shoots—but the album also has darker, more bewitching themes at play. “Caverns,” for instance, begins with two minutes of what sounds like broken bits of crystal trickling onto damp stone, then bursts into a slow jam with layered, manipulated vocals and eventually a wash of ominous electronic gurgles and squeals. It’s as chilling as it is hypnotic as it is gorgeous. —Kevin Warwick This show is part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival; see page BTK. Freelance Whales headline; Hundred Waters and Snowmine open.