I think I first saw Kanako Pooknyw and Jon Hanna play music together at some point probably eleven or twelve years ago when Niki and I saw their old band Sisters (which I think is blatant Sonic Youth reference/love) play with Japanther and maybe Kimya Dawson at a DIY space in downtown Olympia. It was a great venue that really allowed the music, and not bar/drinks/hookups be the focus. I wish I remembered its name.. Anyway, Kanako and Jon are the core of Broken Water, or the constants, rather. Their music is proof to me that hardcore as a way of doing music, or living has much more to do with how you carry yourself and how much heart you put into it versus any kind of specific sound.
Sisters, like Broken Water, remind me of a grungier, more American version of 90s 4AD bands like Lush or the Cocteau Twins or some kind of band like that. But unlike the shoegazers Broken Water has a kind of engaging presence that always puts a grip on me when they play. I saw Lush in 1992 and it was fine, it just had a kind of druggy dullness about it that ultimately made it a little unmemorable. I remember every time I've seen Broken Water pretty well. They're that kind of group. The fact that a lot of their records and songs reference thinks like Czech New Wave film and Russia's Yanka Dagilieva just kind of seals it all up.