Water Liars is an indie-folk/Americana duo from Oxford, Mississippi. They sort of came together by accident, but they just released their second album this spring and are out on tour to support it.
Some years back, singer/songwriter/guitarist Justin Kinkel-Schuster was in a St. Louis folk band called Theodore. Things were starting to pick up for that band, but something happened and Theodore is no more. Kinkel-Schuster went to Oxford, MS to work with Andrew Bryant, who plays drums, does production, and wears the “multi-instrumentalist” hat. The two men didn’t really mean to start a band, but they started playing together one afternoon in 2011, and an album was born.
Their first album —Phantom Limb— came out in March of 2012, and their second record —Wyoming— was released in March of this year.
I’d never heard of Water Liars until recently, but they’ll be playing at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh. They’re one of the many bands who I’ve learned about through my research about the festival. 175 bands. 15 venues. 3 nights. I’ve put together a long list of 45 or so bands that I’d like to see, but that’s probably three times the number that I’ll actually be able to see. Eventually, I’ll whittle the list down to something like 20 bands, knowing full well that I won’t get to see them all.
Anyway, tonight’s song is the second song from the new record, and it’s the one that really caught my ear.
“Fake Heat” by Water Liars
It’s got a lot of Fleet Foxes to it, and I like that.
I don’t want to suppose too much, but the song is certainly about a strange relationship that the guy is in. The relationship is one of those where when you’re in it, it’s impossible to define because neither party knows even what they want. It’s early on in the relationship, and there’s a lot of passionate kissing. Lies are told. The sex is empty and meaningless. And they’re not exclusive. But I don’t think anyone is getting feelings hurt.
One of my favorite lines comes early on:
There’s a movie on the teevee about
The City of Lost Children
They’re speaking all in Spanish, but I don’t give a care
Coz we are going at it hot and heavy
The joke, of course, is that The City of LostChildren is in FRENCH. But he’s so into the making out, that he can’t even tell whether it’s French or Spanish, let alone care that it’s not in English. I like that movie quite a bit. I’ve seen it a few times, and learned an interesting tidbit about it. The main star of the film is Ron Perlman, who does not speak French. He learned his lines, but he doesn’t know what any of it means.
The cleverness doesn’t stop there, though.
And earlier she told me flat-out she would not kiss me
And now here we are
And I was just beginning to think she was all talk
Until she turned out the light
And oh how hungrily, oh how desperately she looks at me
Here’s the part I have trouble with:
Next time I go over, there’s some condoms in the garbage
with a letter from her father and she’s naked on the bed
And loneliness is just a path we walk
I don’t know what’s what there, but it’s a super-weird juxtaposition of condoms and a letter from her father.
Apart from that little bit, I really like the song from every angle.
Water Liars are playing on the first night of the festival in the 11:30 pm to 12:30 slot at Five Star. See more of the schedule here.
You can buy Wyoming from the Fat Possum Records web store here.