Tuesday, January 25, 2011

0 Broken Water: One of Olympia's Best Kept Secrets

At this very moment, Olympia, WA is an absolute hotbed for interesting and amazing bands, one of which is psychedelic indie rock band Broken Water. While I tend to steer clear of the typical indie rock fare, the trio of Jon Hanna on guitar/vocals, Abigail Ingram on bass/vocals, Kanako Wynkoop on drums/vocals are doing something truly exciting. Broken Water formed in 2008 and have a few releases under their belt including full length "Whet", but have all but existed in quiet obscurity even though they played over 100 shows in 2010. Their sound melds the noisiest moments of Sonic Youth, the psychedelic shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine with the undeniable NW influence of hometown bands like Unwound and Sleater-Kinney, and the result is quite staggering.

Last night I ventured to Olympia to catch Broken Water on their home turf were they were part of a bill that included Portland’s White Fang (an amazing live band in their own right) and The Thermals who were playing their first show ever in Olympia. The show took place at the Northern, an intimate all-ages music space that doubles as an art studio. Broken Water mesmerized the capacity crowd with Hanna supplying waves of brilliant distortion and effects over top a surprisingly ample rhythm section. Their live set also featured trippy projected visuals courtesy of Wynkoop (a respected local film maker), that flashed and swirled, giving the room an iridescent glow.

Broken Water is heading out on a spring tour that will end in Seattle on May 13th. More info on that show will be revealed in the coming months, but for now here is a video from last Sunday’s show.

Words and Video by Nik Christofferson


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