By: Martyn Coppack
Red River Dialect | facebook | bandcamp |
Every once in a while a band pops along that totally disarms you and makes you realise why you love this thing called music. It doesn’t matter if they are innovative or if it’s something completely derivative, there is just a certain something which knocks you for six and releases all critical perspectives to the wind. Red River Dialect are such a band and whilst they are certainly not the most innovative or different of bands, the sound they produce on Tender Gold and Gentle Blue hits a spot deep within your soul and remains there for time eternal.
Following on from their debut release awellupontheway which channelled the spirit of The Waterboys circa Fishermans Blues and distilled it through some ancient Cornish vacuum, their second album is a complete change of tack and ushers in a much more meandering and haunting sound. Still resolutely folk, they bear a lot of resemblance to Little Arrow in the way they produce sounds which sound like they are created by ancient ghosts rather than human beings. Beautiful and invigorating, Red River Dialect have a penchant for bringing those old Cornish folk tales to life, and you will want to listen.
It’s an album that takes it’s time yet makes no hesitation to invite you into its world as quick as possible and as the slow opening of ‘For Ruth And Jane’ unravels into a gorgeous piano led melody, it is almost as if Midlake have found their muse again and joined forces with Fairport Convention. All the traits are there but done in such a way as to not seem derivative.
It’s the darkness that seeps through these songs that keeps you entranced and there is an almost cathartic release to later songs such as ‘Amelia’ and the brilliant ‘Dozmary’ which signal a sublime centre-point for the album. In true pioneer style Red River Dialect do not waste any time reliving these heady moments though and sink deeper into a disturbed dream as we head towards ‘Ring Of Kerry’, a stunningly beautiful piece which highlights a band willing to take chances from the norm and it is this that sets them a world apart from the terrible nonsense of Mumford and Sons. How Red River Dialect are not the bigger band is a mystery but that’s how the world works.
Tender Gold and Gentle Blue is a little on the bleak side to really make any inroads for the band which is a crying shame as there is a lot of worth here. It can stand tall as one of the best folk releases of the year so far and whilst the urgency of those earlier songs may be missing, in its place we have a maturity beyond their years. To put it simply, there are moments of grandeur on here that simply takes your breath away. That its all done in such an insular way is even more impressive. Do not miss out on this release.