Waterstrider Nowhere Now on LP
Waterstrider, a five-piece band from Oakland, California, is at its core a spectacular tightrope act. On the group's debut LP, Nowhere Now, they embrace a wide range of styles and sounds, from arena-sized choruses to mesmerizing string arrangements; all the while balancing them with precision and elegance.
Although opening track "White Light" has one foot planted in the Afro-pop foundation of the group's Constellation EP, it also points the way forward, shining a light on the kaleidoscope of ideas to come: Zeppelin-sized riffs, shimmering hooks and, at the album's heart, Nate Salman's falsetto; tracing nuanced melodies as if drawing with a fine-point pen.
It's Salman's voice that unifies Nowhere Now's ten songs. On "Redwood" his delicate falsetto provides a counterpoint to the thundering toms, while "Passing Ships" finds him effortlessly riding a slinky R&B groove. On the album's culminating title track, he takes the group to soaring heights with his defining statement: "In the hurricane of love and hate, I still remain."
Exploring a range of emotions that leaps between blunt fear and visceral joy, Salman's falsetto is the perfect glue for a band with such a wide-ranging sound. You may have trouble putting a label on Waterstrider; falling in love with these songs is much easier.