On her debut EP, Watch the Water, Oh Sister shows off her song writing prowess in a richer, more electro-filled sound than I’d previously heard at her intimate live performances. The new vibe fits her style impeccably, and her voice in particular, providing one of the most tantalising debuts of the year. It starts sweetly, with the heart-wrenching love song ‘Don’t Leave’ – her determined yet self-effacing lyrics are couched in warm, picked acoustic guitar, and subtle reverberating drum beats. The songs remind me a little of a more stripped back Blonde Redhead, or some of the softer early Muse tracks (think beginning/end of ‘Falling Away With You’, off Absolution). The electro elements come out more clearly in the next track, ‘Only Nature’, also built over layers of acoustic guitar, her gorgeous voice trailing off with “It’s oh oh only nature/I can’t change him”.
The single, ‘For the Dales’, opens with a certain casualness – a vocal riff dancing over some electric drums, into the entry of the verse melody – before the beautiful chorus sees the song spread out its sound, backed with chimes of electric guitars and warm synths. Both intimate and mesmerising, the song draws the listener in with its flowing rhythm and warm cradle of sound. On a personal note, the official video also happens to include shots filmed on Brighton Beach, so a nice little nostalgia attack!
‘Hot and Cold’ closes the EP on a darker, more haunting note, a sorrowful and gentle acoustic number with the faintest of percussion (very cool reverb on the drums again!), a fitting ending that shows off her voice in the perfect setting. I’m now exceedingly excited to hear a fuller piece of work, and awaiting a debut album with bated breath…
Words: Ned Mortimer