River Whyless (Asheville, N.C.)
Over a lovely acoustic, finger-picked accompaniment, River Whyless vocalist/guitarist Ryan O’Keefe intones, “I’m not searching for perfect, I’m perfecting my search,” and that’s the moving introduction to the band’s powerful and beautiful debut album, 2012’s A Stone, A Leaf, An Unfound Door. Halli Anderson’s violin and ethereal vocals give River Whyless a Chamber Folk feel, but the skilled rhythm section of bassist Dan Shearin and drummer Alex McWalters grounds the band regardless of the direction any given song takes them. The North Carolina quartet moves gracefully from traditional Folk structure to baroque gravity to heartstopping atmospherics without a hint of creative self-consciousness, an ability that shines through on their very first album and is reinforced night after night on the road. River Whyless makes ageless music for the here and now.
YDIIYD: The Decemberists making s’mores with Sigur Ros at a campfire hoedown. (BB)
“River Whyless is as much about the music they create as the place they come from… a deeply thoughtful band, philosophical in their methods of practice and creation.” - Proxart Magazine
“River Whyless opt for rhythmic-meets-pastoral indie folk numbers in the vein of Grizzly Bear or Fleet Foxes, with layers of fiddle and tasteful percussion…The recording was done in Martha’s Vineyard…infusing the songs with the melancholy of sea and sky, damp earth and salt air.” - Shuffle Magazine