What originated as a solo project for singer/songwriter Peter Liddle transformed into a five-man group when the musician decided to add some spacial substance to his live performances around the UK. The boys kept running into each other and continued playing together and eventually established themselves as a unit dubbed Dry the River. Despite their collective background in hardcore and post-punk music, the bearded and tattooed London-based band is recognized by their folky gospel sound. Their past experience in punk is all but concealed on their debut album Shallow Bed. They play and sing hard, but maintain poetic lyrics emphasized by a hauntingly alluring violin accompaniment. You can hear a dash of influence from Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons in their music, but their heavy tracks and wavering vocals set them apart and place them on their own path in the music scene. Liddle, fascinated by the Roman Catholic Church growing up, pulls inspiration from religion and mixes it with his academic background in medicine. Strange? I’d say so. It’s difficult to explain how and why it works but it does and makes for one of the most interesting and unique albums of this year thus far. Continuing to make an impact on the States and quickly gaining recognition, Dry the River need not worry about competing for the weekend spotlight at Sasquatch this year. With an incomparable stage presence and harmonies that could even earn The Beatles‘ nod of approval, they’ll be an act you definitely won’t want to miss.
Dry the River plays at 4:35 pm on the Yeti stage on Saturday, May 26th.