It’s good to be Run River North. Since forming in 2011, the California folk sextet has built an impressive resume. After filming their own video for the upbeat “Fight to Keep” in the backseats of their modest Honda’s, reps from the car company took notice and set up a surprise performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! while using the track on national ads. Sold out shows across America, including at the revered Troubadour of Hollywood, and an upcoming tour with Boy & Bear followed.
In February the band released their self-titled debut that immediately reminds the listener of bands like Of Monsters and Men and Fleet Foxes while still keeping their authenticity in place. The care the band has for their craft is further enhanced under producer Phil Ek who has worked with some of the genre’s brightest names (i.e. The Shins, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes). Whether it is the violin in “In the Water” or the impassioned claps in “Beetle”, the band’s personality is alive and thriving in a space all their own. Run River North strikes me as a band that genuinely loves what they do. They form a humble yet confident family feel that is fun and refreshing.
Their lyrics walk familiar ground with themes ranging from sin and grace to life and loss. “Monsters Calling Home” opens the album and wonderfully explores the light and dark in all our souls. This particular idea is peppered throughout the album and beautifully climaxed in “Lying Beast” which laments “I was the beast all alone in my head.” The harmonies are nothing short of amazing and enrich the album with an underlying sense of hope no matter how dark the nights become. “I will fight in the light, till I give my final breath” is the rally cry in the outstanding “Growing Up”.
So you have two choices; listen to Run River North now and enjoy them before they explode into the musical atmosphere, or wait and have all your friends tell you how amazing they are. It is your choice. If you need help deciding, you can catch the band perform at the beautiful Beachland Ballroom on October 21st if you are in the Cleveland area as well as hear them on the soundtrack for the upcoming motion picture, “The Good Lie” starring Reese Witherspoon.