California based indie-pop group Run River North’s self-titled debut album exudes youthful passion and creativity that flows over kempt beats and calming lyrics. The six-member ensemble hailing from the San Fernando Valley area has perfected their unique brand of orchestral pop, trotting out one whimsical ballad after the another.
The opening track “Monsters Calling Home” introduces the band’s vocal harmonies, which are infused into every track and make for an interesting acoustic choral sound. Looking to “Growing Up” and “Banner,” the band’s true talent is evident in these ethereal group choruses. Beyond these lyrical nuances lies the band’s knack for exuding West Coast calm, even in their more ominous, soul-searching tracks.
The band faltered slightly in its unwillingness to take any musical risks. While they’ve solidified their skills in graceful folk beats and expansive lyrical themes, they remained reserved in their more rock-fueled tracks, such as “Fight to Keep” and “Somewhere.” Understandably, this is only their first full album; but if the band wants to establish itself in the music world, it needs to be willing to leap out of its narrow musical box.
Undeniably cool, calm, and collected, Run River North is precisely as it presents itself to be: a folky collective enhanced by waves of electric hooks and chamber pop vocal backings, and creators of a very promising debut.