The first thing that strikes you about River Whyless is their incredible harmonies. At their apex, three voices combine to deliver a warm melody. That makes "Life Crisis", with its boxy sounding drums, into a more accessible, thoughtful Fleet Foxes.
The violin and slightly mystical rhythm gives "Maple Sap" the snaky feeling of a stripped-down Dead Can Dance.
The percussion gets downright Waitsian on "Miles of Skyline". It couples with a violin that's played more like a fiddle, and those harmonies to make for a unique experience.
The group take a stab at an introspective tear-jerker with "Fine Companion", but it misses the mark a bit, coming across as boring more than heart-wrenching.
In all River Whyless is a pretty pleasant way to start our 2015 review.
Best tracks: "Miles of Skyline", "Life Crisis"
Track listing for River Whyless:
- Life Crisis
- Maple Sap
- Bath Salt
- Miles of Skyline
- Fine Companion