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Calming River – The Ember (Live)

Art of Wire (official video)

For The Echoes To See (official video)

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Review ‘Afflict and Redeem’: Mytacism Music

UK music blog Mytacism Music recently reviewed debut ‘Afflict and Redeem’. Here is what they had to say…

Calming River is an artist who creates very real music, music which comes to life and moves before you like an apparition. Each track also feels very pure, most songs are simply just him and his guitar, giving each track an intimate sound. The debut LP ‘Afflict and Redeem’ also features drums and a violin, instruments which add more depth and ambiance to the tracks.

‘The Ember’ starts the album with an atmosphere tinged with a sadness. The steady pluck of guitar strings and melancholy violin easily alerts you to the fact the album is going to be full of intricate beauty. Following in suit, ‘Overcome’ creates a dark and raw sound which rolls into a chilling climatic ending. ‘March’ continues a somber mood but ‘Brother I’ acts as the parting in the clouds. There’s hope flowing deep within this song, a hope created by the lighter notes and small grin of melodies.

‘Parrot Song’ is one of my favourite tracks. There is a build up of instruments that sounds so full and simple at the same time. The melodies begin to sound like breathing and drum beat feels like a heartbeat making Calming River’s music really come to life and it sounds almost Holy. ‘Stayed At Home’ is full of spiralling notes and wistful vocals that ultimately suck you in like vacuum. The album ends with ‘The Dirt’, a track which begins unexpectedly with sweeping background tones. As Calming River begins to vocalise his thoughts it is easy to get caught up and lost within the song, so much so that your skin begins to tingle.

Review ‘Afflict and Redeem’: Rootszone.dk

The Danish folk fanzine Rootszone.dk have recently taken the time to review ‘Afflict and Redeem’. Read the review here.

(Read the original review, in Danish, by clicking here.)
Translated
You can buy “Afflict and Redeem” in the leading web shops . A limited number of CDs are also in the deal. That’s what it says, the delivery note on the young Aarhus-based folk singer Joshua Brains new EP, which only comes in 250 copies.
And it sounds undeniably like another inauguration of the new, inevitable, musical cyberspace with its goodbye to small optical CD metal discs, which we have thrown into the CD-player the past 25 years.

At any rate the musicians behind the seven tracks of “Afflict and Redeem” deserve the attention that their music is often streamed and downloaded from the atmosphere. Joshua Brain is a young, talented guitarist and an accomplished singer, who plays under the artist name “Calming River” together with Alvaro Suarez on violin and Luke Gibbs and Fernando Teijeiro on Drums .

It is an wistful, melancholy and thoughtful album with traces of the 1960s psychedelic folk with groups like The Incredible String Band—and newer models like Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

A pleasant acquaintance, which is good for a meditative relaxation and it makes you want to dig into the lyrics. Unfortunately this is made difficult—Joshua Brain, who has written all the songs, is a native Briton. And my English is simply not good enough to understand everything that is being sung. A book of lyrics would have done wonders. And the suspicion can arise: Are the words worth to consider?

But if you forget about the lyrics for awhile and swim into the dreamy euphony, you are left in a curious wondering and associations. Do they really sing about a parrot in “Parrot Song”? Who’s the dead Flossie Lannie whom the album is dedicated to? And what is the novel “Dirt” by David Vann about? That is the one he sings about in the last song “Dirt”.

Sometimes plenty of “trick-recording-overloaded”. But certainly an album that makes you want to listen to Calming River, the next time they are to find in cyberspace or at a venue nearby. The website www.calmingrivermusic.com is new, but it should be good when it gets more substance—and some more lyrics to read!

[Note by artist: Lyrics are available on the site]