Waterville – Isle of Blue EP

This week my good pal Nico reached out with a link to the latest release on his brilliant Shoredive Records imprint.

Waterville describe themselves as a preapocalyptic rock band from North East Poland. That’s certainly a new one on me so I just had to investigate. The Isle of Blue EP is not this bands first release; indeed, they’ve been about the scene since 2019. The band consist of Hiacynta Szulc (vocals / violin), Marcin Adamczuk (guitar), Bartosz Niedzwiecki – (drums/ bass/ guitar/ synths) and Pawel Ambrozewicz (synths/ bass). Together they create the most wonderful dreampop and, at times, heavy gaze.

The EP opens on ‘Hazy’. A serpentine bass groove driving the dreamy vibe of the song. Szulc’s vocals punch through the mix even when the heavier guitars come in. The harmony lines are a glorious touch creating some lovely ear candy.

This leads us into the wonderfully dynamic ‘Wait & See’. The measured opening verses belying the sonic wave about to land. The guitars crash in like a sonic tsunami in the chorus. They absolutely take over and lift this song to new heights. What’s impressive though is they still aren’t so loud as to diminish the vocal. Instead, they augment it with a counter melody that serves to lift the impact of the vocal. This is a band that plays to each other’s strengths.

‘Breathing’ is a ballad in which Niedzwiecki plays one of the most beguiling drum lines I’ve heard in a while. Really tune in to what he’s playing here if you can. It’s a fascinating off beat kinda thing. As if in response Adamczuk delivers a stunning foil, picking out the spaces and filling them with his chiming, picked out guitar line. Atmospheric backing from a fuzzed-out guitar and synth lifts the lead vocal beautifully. This track is sublime and my EP highlight.

Next up is the slow building ‘War’. This is a really spacious number, with a run time of over seven minutes the band can afford to take their time to bring in all aspects of the melody. There are some really interesting effects here, a guitar that sounds like an air raid siren appears at one point. Post Rock has definitely had an influence on the creation of this one and it’s a most welcome influence at that. The band wear it well and utilise it equally so.

The EP closes with the darkly alluring ‘Under The Water’. Szulc absolutely owns the vocal on this one, really showing us what she’s capable of. In a sparse arrangement such as this there’s nowhere to hide which makes it all the more laudable that the band pulled of stellar performances, each and every one. It’s the perfect close to this emotive EP.

This collection of songs paints a picture of a band in control of their sound. They crafted these songs to live together and to be experienced in this order. You cannot help but get lost in the sonic landscape they’ve created.

The Isle of Blue EP is available now digitally and on limited edition CD from the Shoredive Records Bandcamp page.

You can follow Waterville on social media here…

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