BY CELIA ALMEIDA
Just over one year into their existence, Hundred Waters is probably the most successful band to come out of Gainesville in years.
Formerly the backing band for David Levesque in another renowned local band, Levek, the band broke out to form their own collective fronted by prolific songwriter and musician Nicole Miglis in October 2011.
Less than a year later, Hundred Waters caught the attention of dubstep superstar DJ and unlikely fan Skrillex, who took to posting the band’s songs on his Facebook page. Soon thereafter, the band became the first indie act signed to his OWSLA record label and joined him, Diplo, Grimes, and other electronic music heavyweights on this summer’s Full Flex Express train tour through Canada.
The band – guitarists/electronic musicians Trayer Tryon and Paul Giese, drummer Zach Tetreault, and background vocalist/percussionist Sam Moss – put their self-titled album as well as their Thistle EP out through the OWSLA label in the fall and have since amassed over 20,000 Facebook fans, ventured out on their first European tour, and already have plans to hit the road with Freelance Whales in January 2013.
The band also boasts what is perhaps an even more meaningful accomplishment in this age of stratified fan bases and niche musical markets: a vastly diverse audience with fans of many different musical genres. Indie fans and EDM fans alike have flocked to the band’s brand of electronic folk songs. Drenching Miglis’ hushed and haunting vocals in elegant, electronic sheen proved to be a compelling means of communicating her stories of epic journeys and the heroic figures met along the way.
After seeing them play quite a few times at home in Gainesville, I was lucky enough to catch a couple of road gigs during their visit to Miami on the weekend of world famous festival Art Basel. Surrounded by flowers and curious onlookers, the band played through some of their most impressive songs including “Me and Anodyne” and “Boreal” during a showcase put on by the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The show was a warm up of sorts for their performance at SPIN magazine’s NQB8R Party at Gramps Bar. Beloved Gainesville based art collective The Church of Holy Colors, which travels with Hundred Waters and builds their sets, created the awe-striking set design for the event on which all other acts including araabMUZIK and electronic soul outfit AbdeCaf also performed.
Hundred Waters played to one of the most attentive audiences of the night and no doubt continued their grassroots fan base expansion in good company.
The band’s astoundingly successful year is a true testament to the word-of-mouth power of the Internet age and what it can do for bands that make great records, no matter what city they come from