Wednesday, January 3, 2018

River Spirit's New EP Sets Souls Alight

River Spirit's new EP is available digitally this Friday, Jan 5
Physical copies will be at their next show: Friday, Jan 12  @ Third Wave Music

River Spirit's sound is something tender, and yet has commanding presence. Minimalist neo-soul odes carried by powerful lead vocals over composites of electronica/R&B, interlaced with swooning atmospheric guitars and these subtly entrancing percussive patterns. I've been in a room during three live performances by this Detroit trio and each time my memory of several other details of those nights, be it the white noise of loud bar side conversations or even sometimes other bands on the bill, fade in comparison to this rare and understated radiance that the players and their music, a bare bones electro-soul that bares all, emotionally, brought to life on stage. And that's brought to life here....

"You can open doors with your eyes shut / Don't you realize you are one of a kind?"

How many of us are deficient in crucial vitamins of affection and tenderness? I'm not even talking about how winter is a cold, darker, unpredictable season where lots of us turn into hermits and start to go through intimacy-withdrawals, but even on the grander scale of allowing our human interactions to be digitally quarantined to the ethereal commons of the Internet?

Singer/guitarist Vanessa Reynolds, guitarist/vocalist  Dan Steadman and drummer Paul Wilcox were working on these songs during what was a tough year for so many to stormily sail through, and the poetry of the lyrics embrace the innocence of therapeutic expressions of intimacy, even in the face of how hard it is to feel substantive warmth or bliss in this hustled, divided, and sometimes disenchanting world we're all working our way through.

There are individual moments of breathtaking elegance, like the vocals through the bridge of "Dime," or when the guitars and drums take over for the closing instrumental verses of "Winter Song," creating a calmness after what opens with a seemingly restless melody. "Set Alight" is a standout both musically and lyrically; a meditative round of guitars over pulsing sequenced beats as Reynolds' voice soars softly into expressions that bring a relief to weariness.

These are the songs you need to hear, right now. Healing songs. But also fortifying for the soul.

Find the album on River Spirit's Soundcloud page, this Friday...
Here is an earlier version of "Winter Song"

The EP was produced by Scott Murphy, with contributions from Augusta Rose, Jova Lynne, and Leander Johnson. You can see River Spirit next Friday at Third Wave Music--more info

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