Artist: Super Water Sympathy
Distributed by: In Music We Trust Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The self-proclaimed water pop band Super Water Sympathy hails from Shreveport, Louisiana and has just recently signed with In Music We Trust Records, a Portland, Oregon based indie company. The band consists of Ansley Hughes on vocals, brothers Billy and Clyde Hargrove on bass and guitar, Jason Mills on keyboards and Ryan Robinson on drums. Following up on their self-released album Vesper Belle, an experiment in the band’s sound, Super Water Symphony will release their new concept album, Hydrogen Child in April 2013.
The sound touted by Super Water Sympathy as water pop is actually a blend of symphonic, rock and pop sounds. When you hear the word pop, you immediately think of Justin Bieber or Sara Bareilles, but the Super Water Sympathy sound is more edgy than that. There’s a rock side to this band with its guitar riffs and percussion. Ansley Hughes’ vocals are sort of Adele meets Paramore and Florence and the Machine. There’s just something about that voice that makes you want to listen to what Hughes has to say.
The lyrics of Hydrogen Child are very visual, intentionally painting not just a picture but a mood. For example, in Avalon, Hughes sings to a new lover, expressing her heart by explaining how she wants to show them the world, chasing them through the crystal lakes of Mercury, holding them underneath stars of burgundy, showing them the hidden souls of India, sailing away to the shores of Macedonia. The visuals brought to minds are startling against the backdrop symphonic sound and the upbeat and optimistic style bring forth a mood of happiness and rejoicing in something new. The entire album is like that with lyrics that are often metaphors used to make the listener think about what the band is really trying to say and clever uses of locales and everyday happenings to get the feeling across.
My favorite tracks are Uh Oh!, Sunday School Dress, When You’re Not Around and Magnolia Parade. Uh Oh! is a rock/pop anthem of sorts…an attempt to wake us up and remind us to express ourselves, live life and make your mark on this world, because it doesn’t last and before we know it “soon we will be expired.” Sunday School Dress is just a really catchy and playful track with some clever lyrics.
When You’re Not Around is a love song with some really incredible visuals and a beautiful piano melody that really accentuates Hughes‘ vocals and gives the song more feeling. When the singer speaks of feeling as though her heart is on the ground when her lover is not around, anyone who has ever loved someone knows exactly what that feels like. Magnolia Parade, the last track on Hydrogen Child, is incredibly moving. The lyrics paint a picture of someone loved who has passed away, floating around through the clouds and watching from above without a worry in the world that they have now departed. The background track of children playing lends extra meaning to the song and I would love to see a video interpretation of this song.
For a second album, I have to say that Super Water Sympathy has really come into their own with Hydrogen Child, defining their sound and giving listeners food for thought. I have no doubt that I will eventually be hearing tracks from this album as background music for television series like Arrow, Grey’s Anatomy, etc, where music helps define the dramatic moments of the show. The music and lyrics of Hydrogen Child are strikingly vivid enough to be perfect for that sort of thing. After listening to this album, I expect great things from Super Water Sympathy in the future.