How important is accessibility to music? Well, in 2018, it’s vital if you want to reach a wide audience which…duh, but there was a time a band could start small and build up. Scarcity could even work in a group’s favor! Not today, though, where being available on a digital platform is necessary for those wanting greater attention. That makes the decision not to embrace such platforms all the more powerful though — bands that, say, opt to just play live shows around Tokyo might be limiting their commercial range…but maybe they don’t give a shit either? And there is something wonderful about that in an age where a lot of music can feel like baseball analytics.
Indie-rock band Waater occupies a weird space in this discussion. They don’t really use sites such as SoundCloud or Bandcamp all the much, though on the prior they do feature a recent song called “All My Time,” a feedback stained skipper that hints at their underground leanings. Maybe they are one of those bands that mostly plays live shows up in Sendai (where they are at least partially based)? Here’s the twist — they’ve also jumped into the streaming depths, with their new self-titled EP appearing (it seems) only on Apple Music and Spotify. And that eight-minute-long set is a great example of Japanese indie-pop, swift numbers centered around catchy hooks, a good continuation of what DYGL have been up to. Yet the songs on this EP are also more cleaned up, lacking a bit of the fuzz found on other versions. I kind of wish I could just sit back and enjoy the music, but I’m just as interested in the approach.