Bands to Watch #233: Dry the River

By on Wednesday, 21st December 2011 at 11:00 am

Remember when the indie folk scene took off a few years ago? Festivals were awash with bands trying to be Mumford and Sons (who really weren’t worth copying) and this left the market saturated. This culminated in 2011 being a fairly dull, uninspired year for new folk music. Luckily, though, it appears one band is looking to reinvent the folk scene for 2012, that band is Dry the River.

Citing their influences as Bruce Springsteen, At the Drive-In and Modest Mouse, the London-based five-piece are as inspired by America’s homegrown talents as they are British bands. Their sound, however, is inherently British folk but with a post-punk edge encompassing emotional vocal harmonies and acoustic ambience.

Having been shortlisted for the BBC Sound Of 2012, Dry the River are gearing up to release their debut album early next year. But their current catalogue is not to be sniffed at, as they have already managed to hone the craft of catchy melodies, imaginative lyrics and memorable songs.


Their single from earlier this year, ‘No Rest’, starts with a beautiful vocal harmony that becomes the band’s staple throughout. With three of the five members all contributing to Dry the River’s collective voice, the overt softness is counteracted by the sheer power put behind the lyrics. The main chorus line “I loved you in the best way possible” is guaranteed to be ringing out of countless PA systems in fields across the UK next summer. Not only is the song criminally catchy but it’s genuinely heartfelt and brimming with emotion.

Dry the River have recently released an EP entitled ‘Weights and Measures’, which is worth buying just for the title track. Again based on lost love, it has an almost Arcade Fire limitlessness to it, as the band’s sound grows and swells into something really worth latching onto instead of just a throwaway MP3. If these guys can keep the momentum and passion going for their upcoming LP release, 2012 could be their year. Watch this space.

Dry The River’s ‘Weights and Measures’ EP is out now on RCA.

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