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Waterstrider

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  1. 1.
    Way Out
    4:310:30
  2. 2.
    Soundless Sea
    5:010:30
  3. 3.
    Constellation
    4:060:30
  4. 4.
    Midnight Moon
    3:590:30
  5. 5.
    Black Blood
    3:190:30
At one point or another, we all yearn for a fresh start, a clean slate. Yet few artists can empathize with that sentiment quite like the California indie rock project Waterstrider, whose forthcoming Way Out EP arrives on the heels of a series of dramatic setbacks and disasters.
Yet instead of being defeated, Nate Salman (the figure behind the project) took those experiences in stride, incorporating them into this dazzling and complex series of songs, which radiate hope and catharsis in equal measure. Way Out invites listeners into shadowy soundscapes, permeated with rushes of sleek synths and kinetic percussion, that sync perfectly with its open-ended narratives.
While Salman demoed these five songs by himself, he completed them in collaboration with the London-based duo St. Francis Hotel, who add a dose of space-age gloss to the project. Largely eschewing the sunny guitar riffs of Waterstrider’s earlier work, tracks like “Weaker One” and the EP’s title track celebrate the lurching bounce of trip-hop, as well as the vast minor-key soundscapes of Mount Kimbie. Echoing the sparse arrangements of Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, closing track “Breed” strips down Way Out’s atmospheric touches, with Salman beginning the song backed only by a humid keyboard figure.

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