“Black Water” by Angus Powell is truly one of the most effective uses of quiet, intimate musicality you’ll hear. Not to mention, the integration of production and arrangement tricks is seamless. So often, musicians struggle to bring their songs to life in a way that feels authentic to them. This track is so genuinely good, you’ll have no question in your mind about whether it’s a genuine representation of Angus Powell. He bears his soul in these three minutes. You’ll have no choice but to let yourself melt into the emotional expression that is “Black Water.”
The acoustic guitar begins, shrouded in layers of distortion. A minor chord progression rings out as the first lyrics appear: “I drift on / Black waters / Unanchored / Uncharted.” Between every short phrase arises a hummed swell of background vocals. The melody and accompanying harmony have a haunting, hypnotizing atmosphere. You won’t be able to peel yourself away from it.
In this vocoder-like haze, the hook brings about a new progression, a new melody, and a new emotional gravity. As the sentimental major chords float by, a juxtaposition occurs. The verses were morose, yet there’s a bittersweetness to the chorus. This contrast is the epitome of what makes this song beautiful, layered, and arresting.
There’s not too much else to say about this one—you ought to just listen to it. Sometimes, music is just brilliant. There’s no explanation other than the natural talent of the artist. “Black Water” will make you feel so many different things, and Angus Powell is the man to thank for it. Be sure to give him a follow and a stream!
Written by Alyce Lindberg
FOLLOW ANGUS POWELL