A couple of years ago Jasmin Frederickson decided to take a look on Craigslist in the musician forum and found a listing that said, "Looking for some ladies to jam with." The person at the other end was Natalie Ramsay. Having both recently moved to Vancouver, the serendipity surrounding that moment is not to be understated.
They started playing music under the name We Are Water and I’m personally so glad they did because their recent release Setting Sail is exceptional. Before we delve into the music I have to say that this release is somewhat of an anomaly. I’m trying to wrap my head around how this complete DIY effort sounds so good. They recorded in closets, under the stairs and more with a 90’s Yamaha Digital Audio Workstation. The cherry on top is they also mixed and mastered the album.
Setting Sail contains gorgeous melodies from a plethora of rich instrumentation. Guitars, banjo and violin are the prominent strings while the percussion comes in the form of bongos. Then there's the vocal work, which is fantastic. Both Frederickson and Ramsay sound great solo or when joining vocal harmonies. If that wasn’t enough the lyrics avoid clichés and are original, contain depth and are poetic.
Setting Sail starts with the title track, which immediately showcases their talent. It starts with a lightly strummed acoustic guitar and vocals. Ramsay and Frederickson trade vocal parts and then combine as with a violin. The track is only two minutes but is a precursor of what is to come.
“Hum Strum” has a jovial, upbeat energy that consumes you. They sing, “Two hearts, two drums to pound, two separate beats / Listen to my heart and it beated / It beated to it's own drum and the drum slowly faded / I faded till I could no longer hear it.” “Great White North” contains beautiful, haunting vocal harmonies as well as strategically placed banjo while “The Alchemist” revolves around our never ending ambition for wealth and the moments in between that get lost in that pursuit.
They close the album with a seven-minute highlight entitled “Pinless Compass/In The Water” The song reaches the album apex about half way through and the second half of the song is the release.
Overall, Setting Sail is an exceptional EP. Highly Recommended.
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