Those Willows is the kind of group that you look for when you’re searching through bandcamp. They have everything, a great folksy sound, great male/female harmonies, good songwriting, and a free download. While we always recommend supporting the artists like them that work hard, we can’t say enough about musicians that have enough faith in their music and enough passion behind it to give away their music and help it reach as many people as possible.
The album is packed with songs that have a sort of organic, original style that is folksy, but not exactly folk music. It’s difficult to pin down a style, but it’s one that most certainly screams indie. This is not an album destined for mainstream success and, in that way, it’s kind of beautifully new and honest. From the great minute long “Intra”, it’s clear that any number of these songs might end up in the soundtrack of a movie that you probably wouldn’t see. The kind that should get nominated for an award, but won’t. The kind that you buy on DVD and want to share with all of your friends.
“Cold Water” is perhaps the best song on the album, one that features fantastic harmonies and beautifully understated electric guitars. The guitar riff in this song is one of the coolest and most unique sounds on the album. I’m not sure if you’d be able to recreate it, which is awesome. “Rivertown” is a song with rhythm, a sort of song that moves along at a jaunt, singing “Let’s move forward to go backward, slow.” Again, it’s the harmonies that shine through on this.
All the songs on this album show an intricate musicianship, which is something that immediately places this album outside of the purview of popular music today. The songs have a jazz flavor melded perfectly with the folk nature of the sound and it’s an incredible style. “Oh She Wades” is a perfect example of this. It would be impossible to categorize this song because it has equal parts folk and jazz. The vocals, particularly the female vocals in the song are flawless. “Any Which Way” is another example.
“Mother Nature’s Born” is an incredible song, one that sounds reminiscent of Fleet Foxes in it’s style, but the vocals and the harmonies, with only two vocalists, differentiate this song from the other folk bands it may resemble. It’s a real treat and one of the best songs I’ve heard in a while. “Faces of Home” is the final track and it’s a great way to end, a simple folk song with some jazzy drums. Rivertown is a fantastic indie folk/jazz album from a band that should be getting a lot more credit than they currently are. Don’t forget, the album is free at http://thosewillows.bandcamp.com/.