Remember Waterstrider? The Berkeley, California sextet certainly managed to charm me when I was introduced to them last year and it's a shame to admit I almost forgot about them. They've been hard at work recording their debut full length but they popped up out of seemingly nowhere to release a short 3 song EP to prepare everyone for the eventual album release.
If there was ever any doubt in my mind about how I felt about Waterstrider, their Wind-Fed Fire EP certainly erased all of it in a wave of passionate flames of want. "Water & Stone", from which lyrics the EP gets its name, starts right where the Constellation EP left off, with more of Waterstrider's homespun afropop if not being far more blatant about it. There really is no second guessing what you're hearing on Wind-Fed Fire - it's balmy, pep-in-your-step indie-pop with a very very noticeable world influence. Bookended by two world-influenced jams, "Feathertips" is far more subtle built upon a swaggering groove with skipping, frolicsome melodic lines.
The real star of the EP however is the closer: A live version of "Edge of Light". It's a taste for the unlucky souls who don't live in California to enjoy what proves to be an exceptionally energetic live performance. Not only is it an absolutely fun track but its complex interweaving parts are an absolute marvel. Intensely intricate rhythms and riffs that come at you at a pretty daring speed played with total fearlessness and obvious talent. If Waterstrider had just released this track alone, it would've been enough to tide me over til the full length's release but we're lucky enough to get two more stellar tracks.
Waterstrider's Wind-Fed Fire EP is the perfect place-holder for what's sure to be a pretty incredible debut. It proves that the sextet are definitely heading in the right direction, creatively and I can't wait to see where they go next. Until then, I intend to wear out my copy of the EP with total and absolute gusto.