Fiction – Blackwaters (Song Review)

Max Tanner, Ollie Franklin, David Carpenter and James Watkins.

I had the pleasure of studying last year at the Academy of Contemporary Music with the four guys that make up Blackwaters. I’ve even played with most of them, and it’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in the short year and a half that they’ve been together. From the beginnings they had playing new material in lectures, they’ve now released their first official single, ‘Fiction’. It hits hard and I definitely recommend you check it out.

It’s hard to directly compare it to anything, but for me it’s like a grittier Catfish and the Bottlemen. Max has a great vocal style that’s raw and dirty, but on top of that, he’s got a quality to the way he sings that sets him apart from a lot of others. There’s people who can sing well and then there’s people like Max , who can push great singing home by backing it up with a massive emotional drive. Without even listening to the lyrics, the vocal tone on this track simply makes you feel something. It’s a talent that’s sometimes overlooked, but it seems like it comes naturally to him and it makes a massive difference for the lister. Instrumentally, it all fits together nicely. Like I said, I’ve played with most of these guys, so I can safely say that they’re unbelievably talented and creative. When you listen a little closer you can really hear both those aspects coming through , and they do that nicely without forcing it.

This single makes me even more excited to see them live again because it would work so well within their performance style. I’ve seen them play a couple of times and they really know how to put on a good show. The key is loads of energy. They have a fun time and that makes you have a fun time.

I have to give a quick mention to the music video. They had a dig at themselves calling it “budget as f**k” but honestly I think that’s harsh on them. They’ve created a unique and memorable accompaniment to their track. It’s so simple but the edgy video fits with the edgy track, and it helps the track stick in your mind and makes you want to listen to it more and more.

This track is definitely a testament to the quality at ACM, but more importantly it’s a testament to the quality of the four guys who created it. It’s mature, gritty, emotional and well worth a listen. If you get a chance to see them live, make sure you take it and prepare yourself for a fun night.

Listen to fiction here:  and keep an eye out for their next single ‘Moon On A Stick’, coming 8/05/16. Here’s a taste of what’s to come:


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