Shallow Bed by Dry the River on Apple Music

13 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The sound of Dry the River is somewhere between the cloister and the pub, combining a soberly spiritual air with a boisterous folk-rock spirit. The British quintet’s debut, Shallow Bed, invites comparisons to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, as well as such ‘60s baroque-pop units as The Left Banke. Lead singer Peter Liddle’s choirboy-like tones lend him a melancholy charisma as he freely mixes religious imagery with intimations of childhood traumas and romantic disappointments. Tracks like “Weights & Measures,” “No Rest," and “New Ceremony” underscore a delicate sense of angst with stately strings, orchestral drumming, and guitar textures that veer from the genteel to the searing. The nostalgic glow of “Shaker Hymns” finds an effective contrast in the rumbling tribal groove of “Animal Skins.” Puncturing the album’s gothic moodiness are flashes of defiant optimism, heard in otherwise dark-tinged songs like “Bible Belt” and “Demons.” Liddle and company wrap things up with “Lion’s Den.” It builds from softly mournful strains to a grandiose symphonic finale, à la Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The sound of Dry the River is somewhere between the cloister and the pub, combining a soberly spiritual air with a boisterous folk-rock spirit. The British quintet’s debut, Shallow Bed, invites comparisons to Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes, as well as such ‘60s baroque-pop units as The Left Banke. Lead singer Peter Liddle’s choirboy-like tones lend him a melancholy charisma as he freely mixes religious imagery with intimations of childhood traumas and romantic disappointments. Tracks like “Weights & Measures,” “No Rest," and “New Ceremony” underscore a delicate sense of angst with stately strings, orchestral drumming, and guitar textures that veer from the genteel to the searing. The nostalgic glow of “Shaker Hymns” finds an effective contrast in the rumbling tribal groove of “Animal Skins.” Puncturing the album’s gothic moodiness are flashes of defiant optimism, heard in otherwise dark-tinged songs like “Bible Belt” and “Demons.” Liddle and company wrap things up with “Lion’s Den.” It builds from softly mournful strains to a grandiose symphonic finale, à la Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer.”

TITLE TIME
2:56
4:12
3:40
4:41
3:10
3:46
4:44
3:07
3:49
5:04
6:44
4:42
3:47

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

  • ORIGIN
    London, England

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