by Kyle Taylor |
Subtle, but powerful, the force behind Philadelphia group On the Water is jaggedly emotional. Drifting through mournful, monotone vocals into begrudging, raspy shouts, the group’s new album, Cordelia, finds a peculiar home to nestle itself within in the widespread world of music. Yet, it manages to land somewhere between psychedelic rock, folk, country, and blues, dashed with a little bit of punk.
While often rhythmically appealing, the group still takes every opportunity they can to jar the attention of whatever ears its enveloping. Utilizing the voices of all six of its members, On the Water calls attention to the diversity of harmonies that can be applied within a single composition. Each track pushes the listener on a journey of vivid drudgery, starting with slow, skin-crawling introductions beneath defeated vocals, ultimately leading into throttling bursts of frustration.
Cohesively, Cordelia, feels and flows quite naturally. The songs seem to climb themselves, yet eventually fall into the same longing defeat from which they began, perfectly setting the next in motion. Never does the character of this morbid tale told by the Philadelphia band seem to truly find resolution, and the record conveys that both rashly and effectively, not too pleadingly.
The fusion of sounds found throughout the album is just as natural as the record’s pace. The inclusion of such a bountiful selection of instruments- ranging from harmonica to accordion, mandolin to cello- leaves plenty of room for On the Water to piece together those foreign elements into their own vibrant sound. Influences from all over the music world can be felt thickly streaming from the record, but never does the band fly too low to the artists that have forged the road before them.
Ultimately, Cordelia is beautifully complex in structure and gorgeously simple in its aesthetic. Intertwined in its distant sound of drollery, the album does not seek to alienate any listeners through too deep-thought experimentation. Yet, it maintains a methodical and contemplative approach that is truly worthy of praise. Precise time changes and tumultuous progressions lead On the Water down a thoroughly original path.
On the Water – Cordelia — Name Your Price!!/Buy the Record