Listening to the Oakland indie-rock five-piece Waterstrider is like taking a bite of a really fancy donut: you sink your teeth into the guitar hooks and thumping drums, then the detailed melodies and the studio tricks catch your ear, like organic pumpkin abstract or hibiscus sprinkles or whatever else people put on fancy donuts -- drawing a bold line between Waterstrider and the legions of Afro-pop wannabees haunting your Vampire Weekend Pandora station.
“Nowhere Now,” the just-released new single from the album of the same name, is no exception. The song kicks off with galloping congas, and picks up steam with the addition of a muted guitar riff and a bass line that wallops like a Krispy Kreme to the gut. The song’s visceral punch is balanced by Nate Salman’s falsetto, alternately delicate and thunderous as he leads the band to the song’s climax and final proclamation: “In the hurricane of love and hate / I still remain.”
Waterstrider formed on the Berkeley campus a few years ago and quickly released the Constellation EP. Their forthcoming debut LP, Nowhere Now, out April 6, takes Constellation’s Afro-pop vibe and pushes it in every direction, embracing R&B, rock and roll and Thom Yorke’s operatic vocals along the way.
Listen to Waterstrider’s Nate Salman explain the many nuances of “Nowhere Now” in the interview above, and check out the track in its entirety, below.