Last year, Hundred Waters made waves with their sophomore album, The Moon Rang Like A Bell. The band is kind of an outlier in all regards; they don’t seem to fit into any genre or mold snuggly. They draw comparisons to very different artists such Florence and the Machine, How to Dress Well, and Owen Pallett. Also, they’re on Sonny Moore’s, otherwise known as Skrillex’s, record label, OWSLA, which is primarily composed of electronic and DJ acts. Their 2014 album will be remixed and re-released on February 16, and it features remixes from Shigeto, Plaid, and Dirty Beaches. However, amidst all the noise and remixes sits a gentle, acoustic reworking of the album opener, “Show Me Love.” The acoustic version involves singer Nicole Miglis stretching out the initially seventy-second piece into a full-fledged four-minute mantra, equipped with a piano, clean vocals, and soaring melodies.
“Show Me Love (Acoustic)” is a triumph that forefronts Miglis’ incredibly soft, yet booming vocals that wrap around you like a warm, comforting, familiar embrace. As the original is heavily reliant on a digital layering of vocals to create an overwhelming atmosphere of gorgeous harmonies, the acoustic version feels much closer and real. Miglis’ quick fingers over the piano keys during the first minute set the enriching mood for the journey ahead.
It’s a love song, perplexed by guilt and shame, but grounded in truth and self-recognition. Miglis opens the first verse with, “Don’t let me show cruelty / though I may make mistakes. / Don’t let me show ugliness / though I know I can hate.” It’s a song asking for love from someone who is wounded and down about her current state in life. She’s laying out all her woes and her weaknesses on the table and asking to be accepted as she is. It’s a smart, bold, and intimate opening for an album that feels eccentric and out-of-this-world at times.
With a newly reworked song, Miglis shows off her vocals in a raw and pleasant way. You can hear every waiver in her voice, as if she’s unsure about the words leaving her mouth. Every word is so clear and every breath is so genuine, that it feels like Miglis is singing to you by your bedside, and her words are engraving themselves in your dreams.
“Show Me Love (Acoustic)” is a great new rendition of their 2014 album opener, and a peculiar way to open a remix album. It’s not too drastic, but shows off Miglis’ immense vocal ability and her talent around piano keys. There’s even a moment near the end when her voice breaks away a little too much. Any other artist would’ve redone their part to make it “fit” better with the rest of the song, but Miglis keeps going and leaves her mistakes as visible and bare as the words she sings.