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4.8 out of 5 stars
Shallow Bed (Acoustic)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 March 2012
Into the space opened up by the delay of Mumford and Son's follow up to "Sigh No More" comes "Shallow Bed" the musically imaginative debut album of Dry The River.With the group's strong percussion and brass section supported by a pervasive violin and occasional tenor horn there is a driving yet tender energy beautifully supporting the soulful and expressive voice of main vocalist, Peter Liddle. His voice has real range and he has penned a group of finely crafted songs which have been arranged expansively to underline their strong melodic content. The overall sound is a combination of Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons with definite dramatic hints of The National.The latter isn't surprising given that the album is recorded and mixed by their producer,Peter Katis, who is also responsible for the wonderful "Strict Joy" by Ireland's Swell Season. This is a mix guaranteed to attract folk-indie enthusiasts like myself,yet it would be unfair to suggest, as NME has done, that this is a mere synthesis of the styles of already known artists. The music stands up on its own and is amazingly good by any standards.I am loath to recommend any one track: they are all worth listening to. Full of carefully constructed melodic shifts and chord progressions, they have immediate appeal. The lovely melodies are underpinned by a robustness and bombast that excite and get your feet tapping and there are plenty of changes of pace and mood to hold your interest.This is a full lush sound that seems to me more English than American. For this reason I find it more appealing than anything by Fleet Foxes.It is a superb debut album and I warmly recommend you to go out and buy it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2012
From the opening acoustic drone of "Animal Skins" to the explosive, percussive, conclusion of "Lion's Den," this is one of the most immediate and powerful records of the last few years. An album written as a single work of art, with careful thought given to how the songs fit together and the story that they tell.

The production gives it a consistent sound without ever becoming samey- the songs clearly belong together but there is nothing monotonous about the record. It helps that Peter Liddle is a extraordinarily deft lyricist, his songwriting stepping between emotional honesty and obscure reference with a rare and precious agility. The musicianship throughout is excellent - the strings and guitars soar through the songs, the rhythm section know when to thunder and when to whisper and there are moments of beautiful layered choral harmonies.

Over the years I have enjoyed a lot of artists that get classified as "Americana" but as an Englishman with a real interest in my own cultural identity what I really wanted to hear music that brought that attitude to this side of the Atlantic. In this album, pastoral and spacious, by turns sweeping, tender and wild, I am hearing exactly that. Anglicana, you might say. Or listening to these vocals like a world-weary Jeff Buckley and borrowing a pun famously coined by a 6th Century pope: Angelicana.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 March 2012
Into the space opened up by the delay of Mumford and Son's follow up to "Sigh No More" comes "Shallow Bed" the musically imaginative debut album of Dry The River.With the group's strong percussion and brass section supported by a pervasive violin and occasional tenor horn there is a driving yet tender energy beautifully supporting the soulful and expressive voice of main vocalist, Peter Liddle. His voice has real range and he has penned a group of finely crafted songs which have been arranged expansively to underline their strong melodic content. The overall sound is a combination of Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons with definite dramatic hints of The National.The latter isn't surprising given that the album is recorded and mixed by their producer,Peter Katis, who is also responsible for the wonderful "Strict Joy" by Ireland's Swell Season. This is a mix guaranteed to attract folk-indie enthusiasts like myself,yet it would be unfair to suggest, as NME has done, that this is a mere synthesis of the styles of already known artists. The music stands up on its own and is amazingly good by any standards.I am loath to recommend any one track: they are all worth listening to. Full of carefully constructed melodic shifts and chord progressions, they have immediate appeal. The lovely melodies are underpinned by a robustness and bombast that excite and get your feet tapping and there are plenty of changes of pace and mood to hold your interest.This is a full lush sound that seems to me more English than American. For this reason I find it more appealing than anything by Fleet Foxes.It is a superb debut album and I warmly recommend you to go out and buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2012
The first song I heard off this album was 'No Rest' on the radio but I missed the artist name. However the lyrics 'I loved you in the best way possible' stuck in my mind for days before I googled the band and ordered this album in high anticipation. Speaking as someone who rarely pays attention to lyrics and focuses on the catchiness of the tune I can say that Dry The River do not disappoint in that respect. When it arrived however I was shocked at not only the breathtaking harmonies (because that is what they are) but the poetic and quite haunting lyrics. My personal description of the band is a more upbeat version of the Fleet Foxes, so if that's the sort of music you enjoy then go for it! I gave my mum the CD to borrow and haven't had it back yet, so regardless of the age group its intended to be aimed at I would say it covers a wide range of tastes. I can't speak for everyone but I certainly do not regret this purchase. A fantastic upcoming band and a strong first album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
This is my cd of the year. His voice, the stunning musical arrangements and the lyrics! I love all the old testement references. Why was this cd not Massive?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2012
Been watching these guys live for the past 18 months and they are the dogs ..... not disappointed with what is an amazing debut album .. they are nothing like the Mumfords (Liddle's vocal has real soul .....!) ... buy it!!!!!!!!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2012
Not since Radiohead released The Bends have I been so completely enthralled by an album. I've been a fan of this band's music for a while now, and the production here does them justice.

I can't recommend highly enough taking the time to sit down and read the lyrics in conjunction with the music - the two combine to put this band on a different level, even to the excellent Mumford & Sons to whom they are (strangely in my eyes) compared from time to time.

If there is any justice in this world (which all of us music fans know there often isn't!) Dry The River are going to be huge.
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on 17 October 2012
Bought this in June on a whim, having heard my daughter play History Book as a free itunes song. After several weeks saying 'what is that song' I conceeded that it was worth taking a risk, and what a great decision that was. The band have a folk rock sound (which many describe as similar to 'Mumford and Sons' or Fleet Foxes). The album features whimsical lyrics and a kind of raw/hoarse choirboy vocal, which may take some getting used to, but the harmonies and violin backing are magical. This album has a heavier production with a rocky feel but the band are bringing out an acoustic version for Christmas if you prefer a lighter more folky sound. I'm still struggling to work out the lyrics, and my 'sing-alongs' turn into humming/howling but boy do I love this album! Went to see them live yesterday at their first UK tour date and they were superb - wouldn't hesitate to go again-absolute bargain. Check out thier website.
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on 2 February 2013
My tongue in cheek title refers to all of the media build up I read before I bought this album, but which ever way you interpret it, don't let it put you off buying this album!

I came across Dry the River through one of the BBC's "Sound of..." lists and have been thankful ever since. A folk/rock album with a great variety of songs has allowed me to continue enjoying this album long after purchasing and listening for the first time. I've just flicked through the tracks again and I'd genuinely struggle to pick out a favourite, once again highlighting the quality of the album as a whole, rather than it being carried by one or two tracks.

For those that enjoy bands like Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, First Aid Kit etc etc I would highly recommend this album! For those that don't enjoy those bands, heck give it a try anyway!!
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on 12 November 2014
When Weights and Measures was freshly out I came across it once in some casual radio listening and got very impressed, but didn't give it a second thought and didn't even remember the band name. This year when there were ads all over the city for their second album I suddenly realised I heard "Dry the River" before. And oh, what an amazing record I almost missed, and how much more than Weights and Measures it offers! With a distinctive high voice, intricately weaved vocal harmony and the apparent passion in pretty much all instrument parts, a debut album like this isn't something easily seen. When a song is simply brilliant, for years my mind remembers it even though I don't know. When an album is brilliant, after years it's still not late to check it out and end up feeling unable to stop listening.
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