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Rivers Arms [Vinyl] Limited Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (23 July 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Western Vinyl
  • ASIN: B008616WBG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 631,713 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Limited edition of 500 with hand-screened gatefold jackets and 4 bonus tracks. Balmorhea s previous albums have received praise from publications including Pitchfork, Mojo, Drowned in Sound, NPR, and many more. In 2008 we had the honor of releasing our fi¬rst Balmorhea record Rivers Arms. Though the band s sound and size has grown, the soulful collection of songs on Rivers Arms continues to resonate with listeners. From the contented isolation of "The Winter" to the hazy heat and hopeful longing of "San Solomon," their music captures the indescribable feelings of living and growing in Texas. Now, 4 years later, we re excited to make this limited edition vinyl version of Rivers Arms available with 4 bonus tracks and updated artwork. Still wearing their bathing suits, Rob Lowe and Michael Muller recorded the fi¬rst two bonus tracks as children jumped and splashed in San Solomon Springs (Balmorhea State Park) in the background. These two sunny guitar pieces are followed by a powerful live version of Theme recorded in Vienna, Austria. The ¬nal track is a version of San Solomon featuring live drums, recorded in 2008 for their very limited tour E.P. This special version of Rivers Arms, limited to 500 copies in hand-screened gatefold jackets, features a modi¬cation of Ann Lowe s original linoleum print by Public School s Matthew Genitempo. // "Balmorhea ashes brilliance only to highlight a slow-burning constancy that's at the core of one of the year's early slow wonders." Pitchfork //

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Once in a while, I take a chance on an album I know literally nothing about other than that a couple of people on internet forums really like and enthuse about it. That was the basis on which I bought this album and I'm glad to say that it was a gamble well worth taking. 'Rivers Arms' is, without doubt, one of the most remarkable and individual albums I have heard this year and I have cause to thank those who recommended it as Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-moor-ay) are a real find.

Completely without vocals, Balmorhea's second album (the first one was self-released) is almost a soundtrack recording of laid back, drifting folk resplendent with strings, pianos, banjos and real beauty. It is a recording without pretension - you can hear chairs creaking, some minor background noises and the sound of faraway voices, but it only adds to the ambiance and overall appeal of the recording. Although from Austin, Texas, Balmorhea have created something which evokes images of a more formidable landscape, of mountains, surging rivers, snow, ice, nature on a grand scale. It is an album which you can listen to, close your eyes, and let it take you anywhere your mind wants to go, a collection of tracks with which you can paint a blank canvas using the colours of music and emotion.

The album, as a complete piece, is simply wonderful, however, I will select a few highlights. 'Lament' has a delicate, cascading piano line, like a trickle of water which gains volume and momentum, turning a stream into a mighty river. 'The Winter', with echoing guitar, bowed cello and atmospheric piano is so achingly beautiful and powerful, it makes the heart swell with each arpeggio.
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Format: Audio CD
Just occasionally it can be refreshing to take a step back from the world of instant messaging, chemically enhanced food and mass marketing. There is a certain solace to be found away from your television, your stereo or, dare I say it, your laptop. This belief brings me concisely to the music of Texan duo of Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, otherwise known as Balmorhea. Eschewing electrically enhanced equipment completely in favour of percussive and string instruments, Balmorhea engage in folk, classical and ambient styles to present fourteen moments of pure heartfelt emotion that have the ability to take the listener far away from their everyday life.

While the name appears to have a Scottish resonance to it, Balmorhea (pronounced Bal-ma-ray) takes its inspiration from a small Texan town where Lowe spent many a happy summer, during his childhood. It is Balmorhea's ability to tap into such nostalgic memories that gives many of their compositions an edge over their contemporaries. "Lament", a soft descending piano piece radiates with a forlorn melancholia as a microphone (perhaps unintentionally) picks up almost every sound within the recording studio. The sorrowful strings help to elevate the impression of forgotten memories. "Barefoot Pilgrims" follows suit, the tentative piano arrangement plays over a foundation of softly plucked acoustic guitar, as a violin seems determined to assume the foreground while hinting at loss and regret.

In a recent interview Lowe discussed the influence of the varying seasons on Balmorhea's music and this has transcended onto "River Arms". A song with a title such as "The Summer" may evoke images of blistering heat, glorious sunshine and crystal blue skies, but Muller and Lowe approach this from a different angle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x94384f30) out of 5 stars 15 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x949d5c00) out of 5 stars Headphone Commute Review 17 Mar. 2008
By Headphone Commute - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Balmorhea (pronounced bal-mor-ay) is a duo from Texas, Rob Lowe and Michael Muller, creating simple and enchanting music with ambient spaces, relaxing places, acoustic guitar, and a piano. For their second album they have expanded the group to a quartet, adding a cello and a violin. The style floats among folk, modern classical, and acoustic ambient. The production incorporates sensitive microphones recording live instrumentation, and the effect is immediate - the barely audible rustling and shuffling sounds teleport the listener into the studio, placing the ear near the frets, the keys and the bow. Unlike the duo's first self titled album, Rivers Arms is more mature in quality of production, and the vastness of field recordings used to offset intertwining melodies with a string accompaniment. It is especially a great headphone treat, as the sound is crystal clear and perfectly balanced within the stereo field. I recommend to grab their two albums together and play alongside Library Tapes, Eluvium and Goldmund. Favorite tracks: The Winter and Barefoot Pilgrims.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x949d5c54) out of 5 stars Fantastic 16 Oct. 2009
By Matthew J. Warren - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Love listening to this while walking to school during the winter. This is the type of music that makes you forget about all your worries in the world. If you like this you'll love "Soundtrack to a Vacant Life" by The Flashbulb.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94ded42c) out of 5 stars Pretty Pretty music 7 Mar. 2008
By Amanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
the strings, simple surreal vocals, wonderful listening experience. truly.... a more acoustic, stripped down AIR and a more vamped up (ish) sigor ros. thanks for the music
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x949d5edc) out of 5 stars great music! 11 May 2010
By Juan - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Just purchased this album and I love it! the mood it sets varies in so many diferent ways. I can listen to it when im driving to work, or when im relaxing at home, and resting in bed. The piano sounds really stand out in many of the songs. This is my first time listening to Balmorhea and I definitly plan on looking for more of their stuff. (Fav song - Theme No. 1)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x949d5dec) out of 5 stars Drifting off 31 July 2009
By Sam L. - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This entire album has such a great ambient feel. It is more than music, it is an experience you need to take time out to enjoy. If you have to try just one song, let it be "The Summer," but you'll probably enjoy it so much that you will have to purchase the whole album.
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