Posts Tagged ‘River Whyless’

In creating this album, we somewhat recreated ourselves, settling into a fresh method of collaboration in which each of us contributed equally and openly to the creative process. The result is a newly synergetic vision we’re proud and excited to share.

When I heard the burbling synth at the top of River Whyless‘ new album, Kindness, A Rebel, I knew I was in for something different from this Asheville-birthed quartet. Their 2016 folky world-beat album We All The Light was a favorite of mine, but this album has more drive, it’s more cohesive and lyrically more thematic; the album’s title is a hintDrummer Alex McWalters, one of four songwriters in the band, says, “We’ve reached a point where we just understand that the songs are more important than the egos.”

That opening song is called “All of My Friends,” and it’s a good example of how River Whyless is changing. Singer and violinist Halli Anderson wrote the song and quite liked it, but the album’s producer Paul Butler didn’t. And since this album was to be a group effort instead of relying on the individual strengths of these four songwriters, she initially let the song go. But a few days later, that burbling sound resonated from the synthesizer and the song was reborn. Singer and guitarist Ryan O’Keeffe said, “It was the first time I felt like we captured a song in the moment of creation. Lyrics were changing in the moment. Melodies were changing in the moment. Singers were changing. It was really difficult and emotionally intense but so gratifying when we were done.”

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Released June 8th, 2018

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River Whyless have released a beautiful new track titled “Motel 6”, taken from their forthcoming new album Kindness, A Rebel. Penned by the band’s Ryan O’Keefe, “Motel 6” was inspired by their experience of being a band on the road over the last decade and a sudden moment of realization.

“We were driving home from a tough supporting tour, we were broke, which wasn’t uncommon. Halli had just moved to Oregon and we’d dropped her at a Motel 6 to spend the night before her morning flight. Watching her check into the motel as we pulled away felt like an ending. It was as if I removed a pair of tunnel vision goggles and could see the world and my life for the first time since we started this band. I felt incredibly small, fragile, irresponsible, foolish, at a loss for what to do next and very alone. The reality of what we had been trying to do for a decade came crashing down in an almost laughable way. We didn’t talk about it and I don’t know if anyone felt the same way but, at that moment, I changed. The funny thing is that a month later we had the most successful tour we’ve ever had.” — Ryan O’Keefe, River Whyless

Kindness, A Rebel will be available everywhere on June 8th Available as opaque white LP, CD, and digital download. All physical orders include an exclusive KAR flag enamel pin, as well as an immediate download of all three singles released so far.

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River Whyless may employ the trappings of a typical string band — fiddle, guitar, prominent vocal harmonies — but they use those elements to surprising effect. They’re, gratefully, a far cry from the banjo-rolling Americana du jour, instead crafting tunes that would sound at home next to contemporaries like Hiss Golden Messenger and predecessors like Paul Simon.

In using footage from the Women’s March on Washington (and our hometown of Asheville) for our rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” our goal is to help speak truth to power, not for the sake of perpetuating our country’s present divisiveness, but as a way to support and encourage the need for an open, honest, and compassionate conversation about our universal rights and freedoms. We’re not asking everyone to agree, but to listen to one another. We promise to do the same.

River Whyless is named in spirit of its ongoing love affair with the natural world. Since its formation in 2009 the band has toured extensively, playing hundreds of shows from coast to coast and into Canada. Its debut album “A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door” was recorded in the band’s home studio in Asheville, NC and released in March of 2012. Its sound has been described as folk-rock, nature-pop, and baroque-folk, but in the end the members of River Whyless hope only to lend craft to their passions.

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Sometimes it can be hard to stand out in the crowd when you’re producing experimental folk rock. Plenty of groups are capable of harmonizing well and turning simplistic rhythms into infectious anthems, but it’s rare to find artists who can evoke as much emotion as River Whyless. This Asheville, N.C.-based quartet crafts songs that immerse the listener into a time and place with well-defined emotional arcs. River Whyless EP is the band’s first release since their 2012 debut, A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door, and the past three years of touring have clearly given the band a powerful sense of self-confidence. River Whyless’ eponymous EP showcases the band’s willingness to shy away from expectations and explore its sonic horizon with compelling results