Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Dry The River - Shallow Bed
Do we all remember Stornoway? They were a timid band who released their debut about a year ago and made placid folk music which while not terrible, always sounded like a particularly large gust of wind would blow the band away. Dry The River initially seem quite similar to Stornoway but I expect that it would take a tornado or at least a hurricane to blow them away. Tattooed, one of them formerly homeless and photographed with nosebleeds, DTR are not your typical folk band.
‘Shallow Bed’ is their first album after several EPs released over the past couple of years. Falling into the folk rock category which has seen bands like Mumford and Sons storm to main stream success it wasn’t long before they were involved in a label bidding war. So you would be wholly entitled to assume that the album was arrogant, over produced and not as good as their early releases; that after all is the story of most up and coming folk bands at the moment. But ‘Shallow Bed’ is different, mainly due to the seemingly tough nature of Dry The River. Re-recorded versions of older songs like ‘Weights and Measures’ and ‘New Ceremony’ are delicately produced and choose quietly contemplative over out and out bombast. Sweeping violins make it easily comparable to Noah and the Whale’s ‘First Days of Spring’ album and Dry The River manage to combine melancholia and euphoria with great success. Latest single ‘The Chamber’s and the Valves’ is one of the bigger songs from the album, more fast paced than some of the other tracks with impressive instrumentation which would make most composers jealous.
In a world, where folk music seems to feel less genuine the more popular it gets, Dry The River are a breath of fresh air from their snare drum rhythm patterns to broken hearted lyrics via brass and strings. Hopefully they will retain their integrity and Dry The River won’t just be the next Mumford and Sons.