What I Heard This Morning: Broken Water

Olympia, Washington's Broken Water are releasing their new album, Tempest, on May 29th.  An Alterna-pop band in the tradition of Sonic Youth and My Blood Valentine, expect distortion and reverb, expect broken chords or lush harmonies.  Their two singles, "Underground" and "Drown," run the gamut of the 90s muse and might excite those sensory "remember when?" sections of the brain.  Considering Yuck's current run in the nostalgia market and the subsequent "moving forward vs. moving backward" debate, Broken Water wear their sound well and legitimately.

All info comes courtesy of Hardly Art.


MP3 - "Underground"
MP3 - "Drown"

If you live on America's sun-kissed western coast (or nearby southwesten markets), give thanks to your sinister, Lovecraftian gods, because beloved Olympia shredders
Broken Water are headed your way. Their turbulent, enveloping new record Tempest is out May 29th, and today the band debuted "Underground," the second single from this anticipated release. For a full list of tour dates, see below. To lose yourself in "Underground," visit the link above.

Tour dates:

05.18.12 - Olympia, WA - Dumpster Values

05.21.12 - Portland, OR - In Other Words Books+
05.22.12 - Eureka, CA - The Shanty *
05.23.12 - San Francisco, CA - Luggage Store Gallery ^ $
05.24.12 - Oakland, CA - TBD
05.25.12 - Sacramento, CA - TBD
05.26.12 - Santa Cruz, CA - Pioneer $
05.27.12 - Santa Barbara, CA - TBD #
05.28.12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell %
05.29.12 - Riverside, CA - Life Arts Building #
05.30.12 – Tempe, AZ – Cornish Pastry!
05.31.12 - Flagstaff, AZ - TBD
06.01.12 - Las Vegas, NV - Yayo Taco
06.02.12 - Reno, NV - Holland Project
06.03.12 - Eugene, OR - The Wandering Goat
06.04.12 - Portland, OR - The Laughing Horse

+ - w/ Hausu, Reynosa

* - w/ Monster Women
^ - w/ Grass Widow, American Splits
$ - w/ Wild Moth
# - w/ Heavy Flow
% - w/ Dunes
! - w/ Gun Outfit

About the record:

In the center of downtown Olympia, Washington, in the middle of a parking lot, is an artesian well that spews fresh, ready-to-drink water from a metal pipe at the rate of ten gallons per minute. It’s often said that those among us who drink from the well, will never leave town, and even if we do, we will always inevitably return. The beer once brewed in Olympia even has “It’s the water!” written on the can. This is considered a form of proof, the way the pyramid on the dollar bill is considered a form of proof. Olympia, then, is a town with a tether, a fluid pulse, a mythology open to interpretation. However you slice it, it’s a place teeming with ghosts, even if your ghost is just the shadow of who you were earlier this morning.

The Olympia three-piece Broken Water— a sometimes noisy, sometimes droning, often pretty and subtly poppy band—is very much a product of its hometown. Shape-shifting over the course of EPs, singles, and full-length albums released consistently since 2009, the band has managed the rare feat of evolution in the service of a signature sound, wild experimentation that ultimately works as a harness, locking down the music’s unique and idiosyncratic internal logic.

Broken Water began when Kanako Pooknyw started hanging out at the house Jon Hanna shared with one of her friends. Hanna was a reclusive sort—the type of guy who had a secret solo career lodged deep inside an old laptop. Pooknyw disarmed the socially anxious Hanna over months of shared cigarettes and stoned banter. Broken Water’s rhythm section—rounded out by the addition of Pooknyw’s good friend, the understated but amply talented bassist Abigail Ingram (also of Congratulations)—is no mere backdrop for Hanna’s loud, impeccably distorted and swirling guitar sound. Every member of Broken Water take turns contributing lead vocals—Pooknyw and Ingram balance things out with a mix of Mazzy Star-like precision and eerie, haunting melodies that can draw a jagged line back to My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, or even the springy, deadpan vocals of Black Tambourine.

This winter, Broken Water recorded ten songs with Stan Wright which find the band at their best: moving forward, honing their sound, filtering new ideas through a songwriting process that has become increasingly collaborative. The trio expanded its version of musical chairs with Pooknyw and Ingram continuing to share bass and drum duties, as well as an increased division of labor among the vocals. The band credits a panoply of inspirations for the feel of the album: Russian punk-rock poets, the ocean, drowning, the Occupy movement, touring, nightmares, dreams, memories; relationships to privilege, substances, and other powers. This way of conceiving a record—creating a tight structure while allowing space for the inevitable appearance of the ghosts that can’t help but haunt your daily life—bears a direct correlation to the community in which these musicians live and work. Broken Water is a band unafraid to wear its influences on its sleeve, because—as the new album shows— there’s always another day, another shirt, another sleeve, another sound.

Press quotes:

"Broken Water strike a balance between straight Dinosaur Jr. worship, Unwound's heavy post-hardcore and the watery moan of guitars tuned, detuned, distorted and fazed" -- Mishka NYC

"The smartest band [we've] heard in awhile.'" -- the Stranger

"If you liked the '90s, welcome back. We can't wait to hear what they do next." --Dusted

"No matter how you slice it, Broken Water freaking rocks." --Foxy Digitalis


Letters From A Tapehead 


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