For an album that hits with an instant rush of fuzz-fuelled energy, the gestation time for Witching Waves’ Streams and Waterways has been somewhat more protracted. A blistering advancement of the knife-sharp hooks and urgently efficient post-punk structures that they’ve spent over a decade refining since their formation in 2011, the band’s fourth album – and second on Specialist Subject – emerges from a period of flux for the band’s chief songwriting partnership of Emma Wigham (drums/vocals) and Mark Jasper (guitar/vocals).
First came a move north to Yorkshire from their native London. “We had decorated a tiny, rented house in Mytholmroyd” Jasper explains. “We setup a practice room in the top of a mill nearby and tried to write music, which we did amid stress about money, and a fear of having made the wrong decision. We had left our jobs, friends and a nice but absolutely tiny flat in London behind, and moved to a small village in West Yorkshire.”
Although they found the location to be beautiful, the transition from city life to rural turned out to be an odd fit – too much so, it turned out. From this relatively short stay in West Yorkshire, however, came a more permanent change as the couple welcomed their first child Ivy into the family. Although, they’re hesitant to put too much of Streams and Waterways influence on the shoulders of their young daughter – she arrived a year and a half into the album’s conception – there’s no denying that its themes of loss, birth, and being part of this eternal, momentary life were brought into sharp focus following their new arrival.