Healing Waters is the new lo-fi bedroom project from Victoria, BC’s David Nielsen. His debut album as Healing Waters, Water has the emotional power and presence to solidify the religious/cult-like imagery and feelings evoked by the name and the otherworldly Gregorian chant-like qualities of his vocal delivery.
The songs are small snippets into the head of David, a gifted songwriter who sings about feeling lost, hopeless, and out of love. While Healing Waters seems self-deprecating and lonesome, the humility, honesty and vulnerability presented in these songs are truly beautiful and intelligently crafted. Water is full of tropical wavering guitar lines, dark heavily effected vocals, and 60’s pop sensibilities that allow these tracks to be simultaneously catchy and brooding.
The shining moment of Water is in standout track, “Lord, Strike Me Down”, where an uplifting and elevating instrumental section comes out after David begs, “strike me down.” This is effective in reiterating feelings of sadness and struggle juxtapositioned with the beauties of the world.
The airy, hypnotic and groovy “nothing was mine” speaks to impermanence and acceptance of passing time. The final track, “God’s Phone,” is reminiscent of influential art-rock, Spiritualized in their devotional, chorus heavy ballads. David also sings and plays guitar in beach pop band Girlfriend (Shake! Records), so check them out too.
- Gil Carroll