Broken Water’s Latest Release: Anything but a Traditional “Album”

Olympia, Washington’s Broken Water has been self-releasing music since early 2009. The three-piece outfit has a few EPs, singles, and LPs under its belt, and today, Broken Water is releasing a powerful two-track, 31-minute record called Seaside and Sedmikrásky. The release is an anomaly in today’s music world, as each track is really more of a musical epic with its own evolving plot.

Part one of the release, “Seaside,” is inspired by the book, “In the Realm of the Hungry Ghost,” by Dr. Gabor Mate, in which Mate discusses the causes and consequences of various forms of human addiction. The band’s bassist, Kanako Pooknyw, says the book inspired her to write “a bass line that hopes to float around the voids of the hungry ghosts in Olympia.”

“Seaside” is a spacey, slow-moving creeper of a song that slumps along with strung-out guitar riffs and gloomy cello. The piece begins with distant clanking, escalating guitar and eventual drums. The sound builds and builds before introducing background vocals with lyrics that can’t be understood and aren’t meant to be understood–they’re merely crafting the mysterious, elusive mood of the song. There are awkward parts in “Seaside” where things stop and pick up a few times around the 11-minute mark, but the pauses are tucked nicely inside parts of pounding drums and cello that sounds like beautifully bending metal. The cellist is Lori Goldston, a friend of the band’s from Seattle who channeled “lost whales, deep dark undertows of solo guitars, and the subtle and not so subtle distortions of reality” while recording, according to the band. Goldston only needed one listen of “Seaside” before she walked into Portland’s Buzz or Howl Studios and nailed the recording.

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