What: Hundred Waters
When: 9 p.m. Monday
Where: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, 303-291-1007
More info: larimerlounge.com
H undred Waters' self-titled debut LP appeared, shimmering, in the world more than half a year ago, and regular listeners could probably still pick out previously unnoticed moments.
The attention to detail on the record is obvious and all the more impressive when you find out the Floridian electronic/avant-folk band recorded it all themselves, at home. The production is so careful and clean, it's hard to believe there isn't some studio guru turning the knobs. In doing it all themselves, though, Zach Tetreault, Trayer Tryon, Nicole Miglis, Paul Giese and Samantha Moss got to take their time.
"There's no studio time and free time. We're not paying for studio time, so we don't have to worry about it," Tryon said. "We wanna make it all day and all night, and just put as much time into it as possible. And there was no release date or tour or anything. We didn't have to think about any of that type of stuff. When it was finished and sounded just the way we wanted, then it was done."
Time is only part of the success story, though. Hundred Waters' unique sound -- and yes, it really is quite different -- comes from the range of musical background in the band. Tryon has an electronic music background, but he and Giese each play a slew of instruments. Tetreault plays the drums and trumpet, Moss is there on percussion and vocals, and frontwoman Miglis is also a concert pianist.
It also helps that everyone in the band was close and comfortable when they started recording as Hundred Waters. They'd been living together, some of them were already playing in a different band together, and Miglis and Tryon were dating and performing their own music.
"Tray, Paul and I all know each other from high school and beyond. Also, we have a history of writing and playing in bands together," Tetreault said. "So that musical chemistry was already there, and we'd been living under the same roof for about four years at the time of that album."
After a tour with the old band, music for Hundred Waters started to creep into existence.
"Some of these ideas started surfacing and we started adding bits and pieces, through living under the same roof that summer," Tetreault said. "As a group, it was mostly through just cloud-sharing the music. Obviously, Nicole and Tray had a deeper sort of interworking with it, being able to be in the same room together. The rest of us just took the opportunity, when we weren't working and in school, to deal with the songs in our own little worlds."
Hearing how the ideas came together, it's no wonder the record strikes some vague territory between electronic and folk. Some songs, like "..._ _ _..." (S.O.S.) and "Visitor" were composed entirely on a computer, with instrumentation added later. Others were written on guitar or piano and stayed that way, then some were electronically altered.
"A lot of the music on that album started on guitar and it was kind of twisted and morphed, so that's another big component of more of the melodic side," Tryon said. "The song 'Caverns,' that song started out with a bigger, rougher eight-track recording that [guitarist] Allen [Scott] did. That sound (Tryon sings it) was his acoustic guitar that I took and made sound different. Drums were now added and we're moving the whole beginning section. That song just started as this meandering, repeating guitar part and now it has nothing to do with a meandering guitar."
In a move that shocked everyone, including Hundred Waters, the band signed with Skrillex's label, OWSLA, and was enlisted for the Full Flex Express, a trans-Canadian tour that featured Skrillex, Diplo, Grimes and Pretty Lights, among other big EDM names. The band was excited, but the move got people speculating that they'd go EDM.
"That's certainly not something that anyone should think about," Giese said. "We just like what we do and I don't think anyone would want that. We just do what we do. We have a certain craft, all of us, and I don't think we could even change that if we wanted to."
There was studio space on that Full Flex train, though, and Hundred Waters recorded some collaborations during the trip, though they can't give away the details yet. Even if Hundred Waters hasn't gone full EDM, they're definitely not afraid of it.
"I think we're being introduced to a lot more EDM music and that genre, so it might somehow influence what we make naturally," Miglis said.
Keep an ear open and an eye out for the collaborations, and in the meantime, check out Hundred Waters live at the Larimer Lounge on Monday, Oct. 8.