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Water From Your Eyes Sign To Wharf Cat + Announce New Album “Structure” due August 27th- Listen To New Single “Quotations”

May 8, 2021
Felix Walworth

Water From Your Eyes Sign To Wharf Cat

Announce Structure LP

Share “”Quotations””

Album Out August 27th

There’s no perfect way to describe Water From Your Eyes, the New York duo composed of Nate Amos (he/him) and Rachel Brown (they/them). Both known independently for their solo work under the names This Is Lorelei and Thanks For Coming respectively, the pair have been together since 2016, and in that time they have developed a clear-eyed approach to forward-thinking dance music that combines austerity and satire, abrasion and charm in a package that is consistently innovative and unlike anything being made by their contemporaries in the Brooklyn DIY scene or outside of it. After a series of smaller releases the band made their mark in 2019 with the release of Somebody Else’s Song, which earned praise from outlets like StereogumFLOODGoldFlakePaint and Pitchfork who declared that “wading through Water From Your Eyes’ whims is a delight in itself, and discovering the unexpected loveliness buried within is especially worthwhile.”

Now, the band are announcing their signing to the beloved Brooklyn indie Wharf Cat Records (Palberta, Gong Gong Gong, Dougie Poole) for their latest LP Structure (out August 27th), and sharing the first single from the LP, the hypnotic “”Quotations.”” 

“Quotations” is a powerful piece, hypnotic traits, and delicate vocals, there is such an explosive current within this release you will be blown over from the first listen. This invigorating composition immediately starts on its compelling journey with this layered and enchanting bed of intricate electronic elements. This consistent beat repeats throughout and the wealth of textures that emerge from the get-go become this prominent structure and backbone to the release. Whilst the experimental hooks laden the ambiance, the delicate and dreamy vocal notes glide above the fabric and assists with this moving attribute to the ensemble. The lyrics and vocal harmonies bring in this powerful emotional element, the flow of the lyrical path alongside the course of the atmosphere emit such soul, meaning, and impressive energy.

When the release ends, the silence becomes too much and you need to immerse once more into Water From Your Eyes. This outfit has mastered the most expressive orchestration and we long to be in the middle of their vision.

“”Quotations”” sees the band at their freewheeling best, drawing from the persistent and building rhythms of the dance music tradition that has long been a part of their sound, but approaching it like noise musicians, or ambient sound collage artists as they construct a mesmerizing forest of sounds out of repeating vocal samples, swooping synth lines and eventually cascading break beats. The final track on the LP, the single is a partner to one of the album’s earlier tracks (“Quotations”), and forms a part of the album’s loose (and playfully intended) concept, as Amos explains. 

‘“Quotations”’ is a sort of inverse version of ‘Quotations,’ the 4th track on the album,” Amos says. “The vocal melody and lyrics are the same but are reframed with an entirely different backing track. It sort of wraps up and finalizes the whole ‘Structure’ idea of the record, which is as much a joke as it is a serious working concept. It was the last track on the album to be put together by about 3 months. We wanted another more approachable song to finish the project and I had gotten really attached to the ‘Quotations’ melody and felt like it would make sense to bring that back and showcase it’s versatility (the first version of the song is spooky enough that the way it translates is fragmented at best). Rachel said they wanted something that felt like waking up on a sunny day so that was the intent (not sure how successful we were but whatever it is it came out cool).

——-

Delighting in contradiction, Structure is an ambitious LP that approaches its own impressive scope and aspiration with a tongue-in-cheek humor and a reflexive self-effacement that wonderfully reflects the personalities of its creators. Influenced by Scott Walker’s sole 80s release, Climate of Hunter and the works of the colorfield painter Mark Rothko, it’s a concept album that pokes fun of the idea of concept albums, exploring high-minded ideas while subverting them and applying a hyper-focused eye for detail in the service of a series of clever misdirections. 

This approach is perhaps best exemplified by Structure‘s…structure, as the album is arranged in what Amos describes as “two matching halves.” Each side of the LP begins with what he and Brown term “a movie song” (the first of these “When You’re Around” was originally written to soundtrack a karoake scene in a coming-of-age indie film), which is followed by a spoken word piece and then ends with different songs called “Quotations” or “”Quotations”” (the one without quotation marks in the title “has quotation marks in the sonic waveform” says Amos). Tracks 3,4,7 and 8 all contain re-arranged versions of the same lyrical phrases, and the song entitled “Track 5” is actually the album’s 6th track. All of this may sound bewildering, but the conceptual feints pale in comparison to the auditory hall of mirrors that Water From Your Eyes have created on the album.  

Since their first releases the band have been grafting sonic ideas together in ways that initially feel incongruous before revealing their own fascinating logic upon closer inspection. This is taken to a new extreme on Structure, which stretches out Water From Your Eyes’ experimental mentality even further, while providing some of the more overtly “pop” moments in their catalog. Those approachable moments are consistently set against the album’s most abrasive, with the band simulating harmony-heavy indie pop that recalls a sort of para-dimensional Beach Boys on the opening track before sliding into cavernous dance pieces that give way to pummelling, near-industrial explorations, that melt into stoic spoken word tracks before making space for gradually pulsating and shockingly gorgeous sonic collages. 

While initially disorienting in its complexity, Structure is also a deeply personal album, with many of the lyrics being plucked directly from Brown’s journals. Though far from what would traditionally be thought of as confessional songwriting, these lyrical elements combine with the band’s conceptual conceits and the album’s deeply immersive listening experience to form an expressive document of the sensibility and mindset that Amos and Brown, long-time creative partners and best friends, share. 

We might throw around the word ‘funny,’ since we both seem to have unusual senses of humor,” says Brown. “I think the album is funny, but in a very vague way where some of the ways things lined up naturally gave me a chuckle. The album itself when listening to it is not funny at all. It’s quite sad actually and a bit dissonant. I feel like it encompasses so much space in so many weird complex ways that I don’t even understand it. There’s emotional elements to it that I’m still guessing at. Not to be cliché, but I see it like a journey. Like going across the continent from one ocean to another in a dream world that keeps changing or you can’t grasp completely to begin with. It’s not funny at all being lost like that. Especially when the experience feels real, solid, concrete.

When taken together Structure paints a picture too vast to be taken in at once, but repeated listens reveal melodic subtleties, rhythmic minutiae, and lyrical repetition that allow the whole to come into focus. Whether the lasting impression is concrete or abstract will depend on the listener’s perspective, but from any vantage point Structure is a thrillingly original release and a first-class achievement in brutalist pop. 

Tracklist
1. When You’re Around
2. My Love’s
3. You’re The Embers
4. Quotations
5. Monday
6. Track Five
7. You’re Watching The Fly
8. “Quotations”

Structure will be released on Wharf Cat Records on August 27th. It is available for preorder here.

https://waterfromyoureyes.bandcamp.com/

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