“Shallow Bed” marks Dry The River’s debut – and after one listen-through, I can tell you that it’ll be hard for the band’s sophomore album to live up to its first.
The English folk band’s debut album is flawless; from frontman Peter Liddle’s refreshing voice to the use of horns and violins, you won’t want to take the record off repeat.
The first track, “Animal Skins,” properly sets up the rest of “Shallow Bed.” Dry The River’s sound is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons’ and The National’s, yet the five-man band manages to stay original.
The album continues with “New Ceremony,” which just might be the highlight of the record. Liddle’s lead vocals are spot-on; I could listen to his voice for hours.
And the lyrics speak for themselves: “It’s anybody’s guess how/The angel of doubt came down/And crept into your bed.”
The next song, “Shield Your Eyes,” refers to goddess Cybele, while telling a love story.
Although the lyrics are striking, the last minute and 30 seconds is what will stick with listeners. The percussion and Liddle’s voice will give you chills … no doubt about it.
Religious references are made throughout the album, both in the lyrics and the song titles. “History Book” uses religious imagery, while telling listeners to carry the past with them, regardless of its weight: “As heavy as a history book can be/I will carry it with me, oh Lord.”
Dry The River’s musicality resonates in songs like “Lion’s Den” and “No Rest.”
And the band’s debut single, “No Rest,” will pull at your heartstrings: “Did you see the fear in my heart?/Did you see me bleeding out?”
But if you choose to listen to only one song on this album, make it “Bible Belt.” The haunting lyrics are simple, yet they are the most powerful on the album.
Liddle sings, “You were a low moon, steady with your wintry calm/Somewhere inside the fire of your youth went dark.” It’s simply beautiful.