[Review] Atsuko Chiba – Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing

Atsuko Chiba is a band from Montréal, Quebec that plays Experimental Rock with Post-Rock and Psychedelic influences. Since 2013 to date they have released 3 albums and two EPs, evolving and perfecting their style the quintet has established itself in the national scene and beyond. The new album “Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing” was released on January 20, 2023 via Mothland and contains 6 full-length tracks featuring various guests. The opening track “Sunbath” features a solid rhythm section that moves slowly with a deep, driving bass line. Melodies are layered and evolve enveloping the listener, combined with a vocal enriched by effects creating psychedelic landscapes. The guitar work is valuable, both in the melodies and in the solo inserts, while the sound alternates between more powerful passages and more dilated and lysergic ones. With its hypnotic groove, “So Much For” features another penetrating bass line that joins solid, elaborate drumming. The guitars intertwine with the synth, taking the sound into Neo-Psychedelia with heavy stretches and enveloping, acid passages. The vocals are an added value to the track, dynamically interpreting the lyrics. The instrumental parts are valuable, with excellent guitar and synth work that increases in intensity at times. “Shook (I’m Often)” is a track with a slower but granitic rhythm section, psychedelic and acidic guitar and synth work blending with Post-Rock traits. Skilful the band develop the theme of the track with layering and instrumental parts that envelop us and then hit us with more Heavy passages, enhancing their compositional and performing technique. A repetitive, hypnotic synth opens “Seeds” on which the vocals are inserted and the song slowly evolves, introducing the rhythm section. The intensity increases as the minutes go by, amid melodies that incorporate electronic elements reminiscent of Krautrock, enhancing the pompous keyboard work. A track different from the previous ones that shows how the band knows how to range between genres and styles, always proposing high-level ideas. The album’s shortest track “Link” is a concentration of energy and relatable passages with a borderline vocal between Post-Rock and hints of Post-Punk. Keyboards add an electronic touch to the sound, addictive and with a solid groove enriched by an akiller bassline. The short instrumental section incorporates acidic and electronic passages, leading us to the finale in a beautifully crafted musical crescendo. The album concludes with the title track “Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing” characterised by Psychedelic and Post-Rock sounds that come together thanks to the band’s personal touch. The guitar work blends with synths, the rhythm section is solidly elaborated, with the vocals alternating clean passages with others enriched by effects. This track also envelops the listener and takes them inside the band’s musical world, leaving us wanting to listen to the record again in the future. This band confirms itself as one of the most interesting on the modern Canadian scene, offering a fresh, modern sound with distinctly personal traits. A well-constructed blend of Psychedelia, Experimental and Post-Rock well dosed and with high-level musical textures. The vocal parts are dynamic and add value to the sound, which is characterised by interweaving and layering of guitar and synths over groove-laden rhythm sections and load-bearing bass lines. A recommended listen for all lovers of modern Neo-Psychedelic and Post-Rock sounds, confirming the good things heard in their previous albums.


01. Sunbath (06:31)
02. So Much For (06:36)
03. Shook (I’m Often) (04:44)
04. Seeds (07:45)
05. Link (02:40)
06. Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing (07:45)


Anthony Piazza / Drums, Projections
David Palumbo / Bass, Vocals
Eric Schafhauser / Guitar, Synths
Karim Lakhdar / Vocals, Guitar, Synths
Kevin McDonald / Guitar, Synths

Guest Musicians:

Vivianne Roy / Vocals
Amélie Lamontagne / First violin
Edith Fitzgerald / Second Violin
Sarah Martineau / Viola
Camille Paquette-Roy / Cello
Etienne Lebel / Trombone
Nicolas Riverin / Trumpet
Philippe Brochu-Pelletier / Saxophone

Atsuko Chiba |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Mothland |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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