Songs of Water – Stars and Dust
Review by: Christian DeLaat
Speaking completely from my perspective listening as a audio engineer and fan of good music, I was blown away by the musicianship it takes to make a sound like Songs of Water work and sound sonically pleasing. A lot of times music with an abundance of instruments it gets a bit cluttered and hard to grasp who’s doing what. Not on this album where the separation and when the artists choose to play and when not to play is something to marvel. It really allows a moment to happen in the music rather then being at high or low dynamic level all the time.
My favorite song on this record was ‘Evergreen’. I am a sucker for songs with a huge climax, and this song has it all. An intro to draw you in, a fall to let a moment happen in music, a nice slow build up and a huge climax. The elements all come together and make a sonically beautiful song. Don’t skip this one when it gets slow because it definitely rewards you in the end.
There are a few different kind of songs on this record – the hit, the sing-along, and the think piece. The hit being “11 Miles,” almost poppy in nature I can see why the band chose this song to be the single. The sing-along in “Golden Summer,” I mean who isn’t looking for their golden summer (Greensboro’s a little to hot for me in the summer, but I get it). Lastly the think piece, I call it this because almost every band in this genre seems to have one. A song where you could love the rest of album, yet it still leaves you saying “this ones different”. That song for me was “Ashe.” I think it is a sitar carrying the melody of the song (when was the last time you heard a sitar?). But it’s a great song and adds a different element to this record.
Speaking as an audio engineer and a musician whose spent thousands of hours in studios. I understand the amount of effort and time it takes to put an album like this together. So I feel I must give credit to the band as well as the engineers who put this sonic masterpiece together. What I think I liked most about this record was that every sound is played with purpose, and every instrument that made its way on to this record most likely wasn’t played on a midi controller (typically a keyboard that can be programmed to sound like different instruments). These are real instruments played by real people and not a computer. I love that.
Ok- now I need to go listen to some more of their early music. But keep an eye out for this 7-piece group hailing out of North Carolina. With talent like this, the only way is up from here.