At the end of 2018, I started to get hip to Danger Mouse's Jukebox - a curated Spotify playlist from acclaimed musician himself. Updated weekly, he features an eclectic mix of tunes, some stemming from his own label 30th Century Records. This is how I became acquainted with Oakland's Waterstrider. I was opened up to a wealth of complex indie-pop with Afrobeat influence on his 2016 release, Nowhere Now. Waterstrider is making a return this year with new music and a new EP slated for this spring, and EARMILK is proud to share this impeccably crafted tune, "Weaker One."
It's clear that in the time since the last release, frontman Nate Salman has further honed in his craft as a songwriter. Inspired by a year fraught with personal hardship, Salman chose to reflect and work through his tough times by producing dazzling new singles that take on a darker, more ominous tone.
"Weaker One" signifies a fresh start for the band. At the top, we hear the band's signature polyrhythm stutter-step drumbeat coupled with a new layer of melancholy and exploration. Waterstrider trades in the triumphant Afro-beat influences for more shadowy soundscapes. The one constant is Salman's angelic falsetto that soars over the tormented chorus melody. "I wanted [it] to sound like a futuristic relic," Salman explains. The warm and fuzzy guitars sound both retro and futuristic at the same time. If this is a fresh start for Waterstrider, it's definitely a direction to be excited about.
"Weaker One" is the first taste from Waterstrider's upcoming EP, Way Out, due March 1st via 30th Century Records. If you're in Los Angeles, Catch Waterstrider for an early show at Gold Diggers next month.
2.15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Gold Diggers