Since forming at the turn of the millennium, Hinterland has sought to stake out its own patch of sonic turf somewhere near the intersection of wall-of-guitars rock and whisper-soft ambience. Fronted by Michaela Galloway’s otherworldly vocals, the Vancouver band has earned its share of superlatives, with critics describing its music as "evocative", "atmospheric", and "irresistible". In Hinterland’s world, the standard rock instrumentation of guitars, bass, and drums is often augmented by unexpected touches of oboe, flute, glockenspiel, baritone guitar, EBow, and synthesizer. The songs shimmer, drone, and chime, sometimes lulling the listener into a blissful state before blasting off into the ether.
Hinterland recorded its first full-length album, Under the Waterline, in 2003. The disc was released in November 2003 by Michigan-based HybridElectric Records to much acclaim. The Georgia Straight, Vancouver’s leading news-and-entertainment weekly, said: "A subtle, shifting wonder, Under the Waterline mixes indelible melodies with soothing layers of ambient guitars to create one of the most richly textured records of the year." Discorder noted that "Under the Waterline has a sweeping, cinematic feel.… There is something new to hear with every spin."
The Georgia Straight picked Under the Waterline as the best local album in its 2004 Georgia Straight Music Awards (the Straight’s readers also voted Michaela "best lead singer" and Hinterland "most underrated"). The album cracked the top 100 on Canada’s national campus and community radio chart. Since its release, Hinterland has been interviewed by CBC Radio and MuchMusic, and has performed on CBC-TV’s nationally broadcast ZeD program. Hinterland has shared stages with national and international touring acts such as the Album Leaf, Monade, and A Northern Chorus, and has performed at a number of festivals, including New Music West, North By Northeast, and Canadian Music Week.
Hinterland has recorded a version of "For Love", originally recorded by Lush, for a compilation to be released by Club AC30.
Under the Waterline and The Picture Plane are available for download from Zunior.