Hundred Waters started making waves in the music industry two years ago when a self-titled album they recorded for a small independent label in their hometown of Gainesville, Florida, ended up getting them spots on tours with the xx, Skrillex, and Alt-J and a deal with Skrillex’s then-new OWSLA label. It was a remarkably successful record for one the band hadn’t even set out to make.
“We didn’t really know we were doing an album until we were a bunch of songs in,” says multi-instrumentalist Trayer Tryon. “We didn’t know what it was going to be. We were just making songs. After the 11 songs on the album were done, that was the album.”
The band–Tryon, keyboardist-vocalist Nicole Miglis, multi-instrumentalist Paul Giese, and drummer Zach Tetreault–ended up staying on the road after Hundred Waters was released, touring and hanging out in different cities across the country. That included a stint at the live-in studio Skrillex built in downtown L.A., where they’ve since relocated. Despite the peripatetic circumstances, the album they wrote and recorded in this period, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, feels incredibly grounded, blending pop hooks, glitchy electronics, and indie earnestness into a coherent whole that could justifiably be compared to everything from Kate Bush to Massive Attack to FKA Twigs.
“This time around we knew who we were more, and what we were after a little more,” Tryon says. “That made it a lot harder to get to the final thing, but it also made the final thing more of a full piece of work rather than kind of stumbling into it.”
With its muted tones and dreamy vocals, Moon is a deeply mellow record that unfolds patiently rather than hurrying to impress an audience right out of the gates. Fittingly, it’s been building a fan base slowly but steadily. “We wanna say something as precisely as we can,” says Giese, “and hope as many people understand it as they can instead of saying something that can reach as many people as possible.”
Still, their momentum continues to grow: They recently played the Pitchfork Music Festival, and they’ll spend November on the road with a newly reanimated Interpol. If things keep progressing at the same rate, breaking out with a mainstream pop audience isn’t out of the question. Hundred Waters aren’t rushing to fame, but they seem to be headed there all the same.