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It's difficult to categorize Hundred Waters. Are they more folk or electronic? Comparisons have been made to Braids and Dirty Projectors, although each of those names is also distinctly hard to classify. Things get a bit hazier when you throw in the fact that they're labelmates with dubstep king Skrillex on OWSLA. Pitchfork pinned the experimental group as "avant-folk" when their self-titled debut dropped in 2012. With their second album, The Moon Rang Like A Bell, the Florida five-piece proves that they're not giving into any generic genre just yet.

Nicole Miglis' delicate vocals take center stage in album opener 'Show Me Love', although this is hardly the case throughout. Her smooth, folky voice serves mostly as an instrument that both supplements and moves along the layers of echoing loops, twinkling piano and explosive electronic elements. The multi-instrumental production is stunning in its complexity, making one wonder how much effort went into the arrangements, although the effort never seems overbearing. There's a sense of authenticity in the group's experimentation from more brooding tracks like 'Cavity' where Miglis' faint moody breathiness explodes into spacey, dark synths to more tranquil songs like 'Murmur'.

Their sound is a bit more centered on the sultry 'Innocent' and the solemn, slow-burning 'Broken Blue', whereas things get a bit more spaced out on 'Down From The Rafters'. '[Animal]' is an altogether weird addition to the album, where techno bleeps speed up the beat, forming an unnatural combination with the airy cooing melody. The band toys with fantastical elements at times reminiscent of Youth Lagoon's sophomore album Wondrous Bughouse, suggesting that perhaps it takes a few listens to appreciate. But after spending some time with the overlapping flow of piano riffs on 'Out Alee' to the racing, atmospheric percussion on 'Seven White Horses', I still haven't quite adjusted to the sound.

The Moon Rang Like A Bell starts off with captivating momentum, a potential to take you on a whimsical, emotional journey. But along the way it seems to have sacrificed that sense of purity first apparent in its experimentation. As it becomes less focused, it loses the audience. The tracks become increasingly forgettable, causing us to lose sight of the sonic and lyrical beauty that attracted us to the band in the first place. Each song tends to wiggle and groove before latching onto a rhythm, and while six-minute closer 'No Sound' salvages this playfulness a bit, I'm left feeling a bit disappointed at where my journey ended up.

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