Watershed is one of these bands which make you ask yourself “What are these guys doing now?”… and then, surprisingly, you receive a new single or album. It is 19 years ago since the band had a huge hit in Germany, driven by a music journalist doing a vacation in their home country. Watershed has been active since then – and with Elephant In The Room, they are back in the international (virtual) record stores. Album release is 7th May 2021.
Watershed – About The Band
Watershed is a pop rock band from South Africa. Unfortunately, I have some contradicting information, but according to the website, the band has been founded in 1999 by Craig Warren Hinds in Johannesburg. He is the singer of the band, but also plays piano and acoustic guitar. The members are Howie Combrink, Gideon Botes, Quintin Askes and Paul McIver. In 2002, they had a major breakthrough in German speaking countries. Their single Indigo Girl was “just” a Top 30 in Germany and Top 20 in Austria, but at least here in Germany, the song has been a massive radio hit. This also paved the route for their debut album In The Meantime, which in 2002 stayed in the German album charts for nine weeks. The album has already been released two years before in their home country and became a platinum record there.
While the European career of the band slowly faded, the following albums still received gold (Wrapped in Stone – 2003, Staring At The Ceiling – 2008) or even platinum records (Mosaic, 2005). Overall, the band has released six studio albums and a greatest hits one so far, the latest one called Harbour, released in 2018. Elephant in the room is the band’s eighth album overall.
Watershed – Elephant in the room – Track by Track
The twelve track album lasts 53 minutes.
1. Empty space
The opener Empty space already comes with a lot of promising elements: straight pop rock with a very straight touch. The song is very melodic. Not the Indigo Girl, but a catching song with a folk-ish touch.
Undone is one of the single releases of the album so far. The verses feel less glamorous, but the chorus is really catching and comes with a nice soft rock – pop song. Really enjoyable!
3. Elephant in my room
The title track is exceeding a duration of five minutes – the key story of the album deserves some time. The song feels a bit like a slow R.E.M. and plays with dark to almost happy moods. Really enjoy the way it is made up.
4. Try again
With Try again, the album gets a melancholic and dramatic touch: the song is about a failed relation, which just does not feel to lead to a good ending. With its middle part, the song also has a quite powerful part.
5. Love song
The keyboard / synth main theme in the background leads to a very easy, but also groovy touch for the Love song. Later, guitar licks even increase that effect. Cool song with a very catchy touch. One of my favorites.
6. I’m on fire
The promotion platform I used to listen to this album states Craig Hinds as the author of I’m on fire – but in fact, this one is a cover of the Bruce Springsteen classic. The song feels much easier, happier when the South Africans do it. Hard to argue against that it also has a quite definite touch of folk. Cool version, which feels very balanced.
7. Map of my behavior
While listening to the beginning of Map of my behavior, I had to strongly think about Shine by Take That. The song then gets it very own style. Clapping sounds as the rhythmic engine of the song, and a very handmade music touch, before the song gets more and more energy and power. Watershed do music the enjoyable way, for sure.
8. Wish upon
Already when I listened to Wish upon for the very first time, I was really struggling. I really love that melodic song – but I feel that the chorus is such a catchy one – Watershed just should have chosen that one as a single. Have a listen after the track is released. My absolute favorite.
9. African stars
The African stars is a song which just makes me smile. It spreads good mood, happiness and comes with a nice melody. A song about finding love. Lovely.
10. Stone by stone
Stone by stone is almost a candidate for my country music playlist. The song is really a beauty and touches my favorite genre. Watershed really show a nice variety of songs. Not forgetting to mention that this song again comes with a very easy-to-remember chorus. Really good.
11. Keep your eyes on me
Go out find, find your dreams but keep your eyes on me It’s gonna be long, it seems so keep your eyes on me Late at night, I had funny dreams I see myself sitting on the shady trees I wish I had your eye in front of me Holding on to noone but me And keep your eyes on me.
Wow, the second last song of the album is a lovely gentle folk song, which again becomes more energetic and intense the longer the song takes. Beautiful lyrics and a lovely collaboration of piano and guitar instrumentation.
Countdown closes the album in a very special way. The song is praising the global frontline workers during the hard pandemic times. Nice finish!
Watershed – Elephant in the room – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Watershed – Elephant in the room – My View
The press kit states that you will be disappointed if you are looking for a new Indigo Girl in this Elephant in the room. The press kit is right. There is no song close to their big one. But the album is no disappointment at all. It comes with some really great songs, it is very versatile – and I even feel a touch of Africa in the sounds and rhythm. In my point of view, daring a listen is almost mandatory – this album is a Top Pick!