By Clarisse Randolph | April 21st, 2012
With the recent release of the Lollapalooza lineup, I’ve done nothing but research and converse about it. After letting Mumford and Sons slip under my radar two years ago, I’ve learned it is a critical step to discover all the different bands attending it.
So through recent discussion, I’ve come across the British band Dry the River. Just my luck- they released their debut album yesterday. And after one listen to Shallow Beds, the only thought left in my mind is: “why haven’t I heard of them before?” They formed back in 2009, and over the past year they have demonstrated how they are quickly becoming a band to listen and watch for in the music industry. Following their appearances at numerous festivals across Europe during 2011, finally America seems to be catching on, as they begin their first US tour in May.
Imagine Fleet Foxes with a rock and roll edge. That is the easiest way I can describe Shallow Beds. And for those of you who are skeptical… don’t be, that depiction doesn’t do them nearly the justice they deserve. They’ve formulated some way to make it work, and the result is simply phenomenal.
Full of breathtaking harmonies and captivating layers of violin, guitars, drums, bass, and the occasional piano, horns and xylophone, it’s hard to believe Dry the River only consists of five members — they create such a powerful presence. They have a peaceful aura, but know how to simultaneously come off strong and purposeful, and when to rock. It’s easy to hear how they pour their heart and soul into every sound and lyric. They have written some of the most exquisite lyrics I’ve heard in a long time, and helped restore my faith in modern music. Flowing and filled with graceful metaphors and imagery, each song consists of actual substance, and is sure to refuel your soul.
Shallow Beds is an album you can easily put on repeat, as each song has its individual sound that will take your mind on a journey. Some are slow, some faster, but nonetheless each will transport you in one way or another.
“History Book” is the song that had me hooked instantly. It starts very leisurely, and sedates your mind with wonderment. It’s as if you can see the violin conducting the rest of the song, with the guitar guiding you right by your side so you never get lost. But by the time the horns break out, it has transformed into this overwhelming track you’ll find irresistible to not sing along. But that’s just one of the many songs; each and every one of them is a like a breath of fresh air that reminds you good music still exists.