Hundred Waters at Underground Arts (Seated Event)
Sunday, October 8th, 2017
21+ | Doors: 8PM | Show: 9PM
••• Hundred Waters •••
Sounding as if Stereolab, the Postal Service, Broadcast, Laura Nyro, and Björk were the Top Five of their collective playlist, Hundred Waters are a quartet from Gainesville, Florida whose soft combination of organic and electronic attracted the most unlikely of label bosses, superstar DJ Skrillex. Members Nicole Miglis, Trayer Tryon, Paul Giese, Zach Tetreault, and Allen Scott played together in various formations as friends back in middle school, but it took until adulthood and 2011 for them to become Hundred Waters. Living together in one house meant the band had a communal mentality, yet over time, a unique technique of the five members recording and composing on their own was developed, and soon jam sessions evolved into individuals working on the same songs but alone, in different rooms. The group felt that greater care was being put into the work and the results displayed it. The best results were released by the Elestial label in 2012 as the band's self-titled debut album. Skrillex caught wind of the release and signed the band to his OWSLA label that same year. AraabMuzik, Star Slinger, and Troublemaker were some of the remixers who contributed to their first OWSLA release, the 2012 EP Thistle. They returned in 2014 with sophomore album The Moon Rang Like a Bell, another dense patchwork of found sounds and precision electronics. Hundred Waters approached the album from a more experienced perspective, having had difficulty making the songs from their earlier recorded work translate easily in a live setting.
••• Kelsey Lu •••
North Carolina-born cellist and vocalist Kelsey Lu recorded her debut EP live at a church in Brooklyn with a loop pedal, and it’s one of the most startling and evocative pieces of music you’ll hear all year. Lu was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and fled home at 18 to escape her strict upbringing, so her choice of location, the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Family, is in a way a subverted act of rebellion. A suite of songs that push and pummel gospel music into experimental new places, the album opens with ‘Dreams’ – Lu’s voice as thick as molasses as it slides up and down the scale, quavering and punctuating the stillness with decorative trills – glides through ‘Time’ with her falsetto in tow, before ending on the plaintive ‘Visions of Old’. Her instruments may trade stages on occasion, but mostly they are symbiotic: an extension of Kelsey Lu, an extension of herself and everything she has been – and no doubt still wants to become.
••• APHRA •••
«Most people would listen to my songs and assume it’s about boy meets girl, boy breaks girl’s heart, girl cries. But these songs are actually about my family and the crippling confusion and heartbreak addiction causes.»
Under the moniker APHRA (pronounced AF-RA), Philadelphia’s Rebecca Waychunas has meticulously crafted a left-of-pop persona that infuses experiences of personal struggle with both the grit of the DIY/ punk scene and the layered instrumentation of her electronica contemporaries — recalling the likes of a Coexist era The xx mixed with Mitski. Sadness is a Gesture took over two years to write, record, and produce. In both the songs’ evolution and physical manifestation, they trace a journey working through confusion by way of repeated mental and emotional breakdowns to immense personal growth and clarity.
Waychunas started writing songs in high school as a way to make sense of the instability around her. Her openness about the traumatizing effect that drug and alcohol addiction has had on familial and personal relationships serves as the foundation for the sonically diverse tracks. «All of these songs were actually written with a particular person or relationship in mind in which addiction played a huge part,” Waychunas explains. “I don’t personally struggle with any substance issues, but I have realized that I am quite drawn to people who suffer from them. I’ve learned who I am, and who I am in relation to the people closest to me, most intimately through the process of recording this project.»
She considers herself lucky to live in a city that offers such a supportive underground music scene. Philadelphia has allowed Waychunas to grow as both a songwriter and performer, and collaborate with artists across several different mediums. Her immersion in these communities has helped hone her proficiency in video production and dance choreography. The release of Sadness is a Gesture serves as both a reflection and expression of APHRA’s deeply personal and creative pursuits.