10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While British outfits making rock music flavored with Americana and folk aren't such a rarity, finding a group whose sound is robust, expansive, and deeply satisfying is cause for excitement. Dry the River’s second album is even more richly textured than their first, and the hymnal aspect of their music is more at play on Alarms in the Heart. Peter Liddle’s quivering voice soars like a blend of Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and Will Oldham, but Liddle effortlessly takes it to the rafters when the group’s keening guitars and muscular drumming starts racing like a herd of wild horses. Dry the River are no stranger to drama, and they could teach a course on the beauty of the “slow burn.” Songs like the thrilling “Gethsemane,” the stadium-sized “Everlasting Light” (a tune with the heft of Doves or The Airborne Toxic Event), and the heartbreakingly lovely “Vessel”—with its faint shadows of Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah”—could serve as classroom curricula for the course. Ripe with religious references and lyrical poetry, it’s fitting that Alarms in the Heart was recorded in Iceland, a place of quiet, volcanic beauty.

EDITORS’ NOTES

While British outfits making rock music flavored with Americana and folk aren't such a rarity, finding a group whose sound is robust, expansive, and deeply satisfying is cause for excitement. Dry the River’s second album is even more richly textured than their first, and the hymnal aspect of their music is more at play on Alarms in the Heart. Peter Liddle’s quivering voice soars like a blend of Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and Will Oldham, but Liddle effortlessly takes it to the rafters when the group’s keening guitars and muscular drumming starts racing like a herd of wild horses. Dry the River are no stranger to drama, and they could teach a course on the beauty of the “slow burn.” Songs like the thrilling “Gethsemane,” the stadium-sized “Everlasting Light” (a tune with the heft of Doves or The Airborne Toxic Event), and the heartbreakingly lovely “Vessel”—with its faint shadows of Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah”—could serve as classroom curricula for the course. Ripe with religious references and lyrical poetry, it’s fitting that Alarms in the Heart was recorded in Iceland, a place of quiet, volcanic beauty.

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About Dry the River

Based out of East London, Dry the River -- who have drawn comparisons to Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and Noah and the Whale -- was formed as a solo vehicle for Norwegian-born singer/songwriter Peter Liddle, who described the band's sound as "folky gospel music played by a post-punk band." Liddle, who draws much of his lyrical inspiration from medicine and anthropology, the two subjects that were the focus of his time at University, eventually recruited Matt Taylor (guitar), Scott Miller (bass), Will Harvey (violin), and Jon Warren (drums) to round out the project, and landed a record deal with Transgressive in 2009. Well-reviewed performances at Glastonbury and South by Southwest garnered additional industry attention, and by the end of 2011, the group had cut their debut EP with National producer Peter Katis. The band's first full-length studio outing, Shallow Bed, arrived the following year and they went on to play a host of European festivals such as Rosklide and 2000 Trees, as well as traveling across the Atlantic for appearances at Sasquatch, Lollapalooza, and Austin City Limits to support its release. In 2013 they decamped to Iceland to record their sophomore album, Alarms in the Heart, which featured string arrangements by Icelandic producer Valgeir Sigurðsson and was released in 2014.

~ James Christopher Monger

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