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Run River North

Run River North

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Album Review

Bursting with youthful passion, California's Run River North create a lush and soothing world on their self-titled debut album. Since forming in 2011, the six-member ensemble from the San Fernando Valley has diligently honed their brand of heartfelt, orchestral indie pop on-stage and at home, and they've even filmed a video of themselves recording tracks in their cars. With their folky, anthemic sound and warm harmonies, comparisons to similarly minded bands like Of Monsters and Men and The Head and the Heart are apt, although even at their most serious, they still exude a sort of laid-back West Coast charm that could only come from kids who grew up in the Valley. Working with producer Phil Ek, whose credits include other throaty troubadours like Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses, the group has laid a sturdy foundation of well-written acoustic pop with songs like "Monsters Calling Home," "Fight to Keep," and the buoyant rocker "Excuses." Their music is rich and expansive and the songs often deal with broad themes of emotional and spiritual struggle like on "Beetle" and "Somewhere." Still, with all their questioning, they usually seem to come out on top with a calm sort of gracefulness, packaging their dark themes of soul-searching into a more hopeful and comforting package. This type of earnest, introspective folk-pop isn't necessarily groundbreaking, but Run River North do their version of it well, emanating a friendliness that is easy to get behind. They largely avoid the rootsy cliches of the waning new folk movement, identifying more with the chamber pop side of the spectrum on this promising debut.

Customer Reviews

Every Bit Worth the Wait

I have been following this band for a few years now and since moving out to California I have gotten to know a few of them. They are the most sincere people I have met. It is such an honor to watch people with such passion play live music, if you have not seen them play live you are truly missing out, whether you accidentally see them open for your favorite band or you choose to go see them, they will win you over with their set. This album does an amazing job capturing their live sound and energy. The strings and the harmonies pulse and the dynamics are fantastic. If for one second I was worried this wouldn’t be everything I hoped it to be and more I was blown away after first listen. Give this band a chance if you haven’t yet, you’ll find them in your most played section in weeks.

Beautiful and creative

Listen to this band now. I've attended several of their shows and, as some of the other reviewers have said, the band members are some of the most sincere and down to earth people I know. The harmonies, unique combination of instruments (including a well-played and well-utilized violinist), and pictures they portray in their music make this band and album my hands down favorite of all time. Give them a listen and don't hesitate to make the drive out to a show near you!

Why the are so amazing

This is the only review I have ever written and this band definitely deserves it. I first discovered this band as monsters calling home on Pandora with the song "growing up", I loved it so much I instantly bought their original album that is no longer available and it's an amazing price of work that is beautifully emotional and authentic. I have probably never been more excited for an album than this one, and I can't wait to see how far this wonderful band goes.


Formed: 2011 in San Fernando Valley, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Based in California's San Fernando Valley, Run River North is a six-member indie pop ensemble that originally formed in 2011 under the name Monsters Calling Home. Boasting a lush, folk-influenced sound built around singers Alex Hwang (vocals/guitar) and Sally Kang (vocals/keys), the band also features guitarist/violinist Daniel Chae, bassist Joseph Chun, drummer John Chong, and violinist Jennifer Rim. After filming a unique video for their song "Fight to Keep" in the back seats of their small Honda...
Full Bio
Run River North, Run River North
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Customer Ratings



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