Artist Spotlight: River Whyless

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Although I am huge fan of high energy music, I like to breakup my listening with some slower, more relaxed music every once in awhile. I am constantly looking for new bands to check out, so when I came across River Whyless I was eager to listen and explore their music. One of the first things I came across was their NPR Tiny Desk Concert. The first song they play in this video is “Life Crisis.” This was a great first song to listen to because it encompasses their style as a whole in one song. The quartet places an emphasis on the fiddle along with other string instruments. The harmonies are what make the songs so great.

River Whyless is a folk band from Asheville, NC, a place where blue grass dominates the music scene. The reason that they stand out is because they are able to create dynamic pieces that incorporate softer acoustic sounds with strong harmonies. One of my favorite songs is “Sailing Away,” it is mellow song made up of mostly acoustics and harmonies. What gives the song an edge is the connection between the fiddle and the vocal harmonies. It’s the best type of song to listen to after a long day just to mellow out.

Another great song is “All Day All Night”. This song is more upbeat and has a stronger rhythm presence. I particularly enjoy it because it involves all of the typical instruments in a folk band, but using them in a way that makes it different than an ordinary folk song. The fiddle isn’t overpowering but brings together all of the harmonies and strings. This music video for this song is very creative; I would definitely check it out if you have a chance.

If you’re looking for a more classic folk song, I would recommend listening to “Pigeon Feathers.” This is one of their older songs from about 4 years ago. It’s an easy listen and the lyrics are reflective and mellowing.