Tips 2012: Dry The River
We can already hear the cries: "folk?! That's so 2009". Well that's part right, but also completely wrong. London five-piece Dry The River take your preconceptions and throw them right back in your face with their brand of folk rock that may be semi-acoustic, but isn't afraid to make an almighty, glorious racket; this is folk which even stadiums would fail to contain. Give recent EP title track 'Weights & Measures' one spin below and you'll see what we mean.
Now that that's out of the way, have a read on to see what lead singer Peter Liddle reckons 2012 holds for them. Chart domination, we reckon.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into music?
I was encouraged to be musical as a child. I went to a Catholic school where we sang a lot of hymns, which led to me doing some church music qualifications in my adolescence. Also my mum always played great records around the house: Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, The Police - my sister and I used to "serenade" our relatives from the back seat of the car on long journeys. My theoretical knowledge of music is pretty shaky, but I don't remember a time when music wasn't part of my day to day life.
Who are your influences?
The aforementioned songwriters from my parents' record collection continue to be an influence, alongside myriad others from my own youth: At The Drive-In, the Dischord bands, Arab Strap, Glassjaw, Hot Snakes/RFTC, Bright Eyes... All kinds.
Is your recent EP a strong indicator of what we can expect on your debut album? How is the album progressing?
Yes and no. 'Weights & Measures' and 'Family' are from the album sessions, although the final tracklisting is yet to be confirmed. But they're quite representative of both the softer and harder moments on the record. The field recording of 'Bible Belt' is ripped from a YouTube video which became kind of instrumental in getting a lot of folks behind the band - it somehow ended up on the front page of YouTube a long time ago and really gave us a foothold when we needed it. The final track is a cover of Josh T. Pearson's 'Thou Art Loosed' which I recorded in the basement of our house. He's an incredible artist - we played with him a couple of times and he blew me away.
What ranks as your career highlight so far?
There are so many - I think we feel immeasurably grateful that we're able to play shows as a profession, at the moment. We meet so many people and see so many places we otherwise wouldn't. I find it hard to think of it as a career, too! But some particularly stand out moments have been Reading Festival, the John Peel Stage at Glasto, OFF Festival in Poland, dipping our toes in the Baltic Sea at Positivus Festival in Latvia... There really are too many to count!
Who will you be watching in 2012?
Not all nascent, but acts I've recently discovered and that I'll be keeping an ear out for: Common Prayer, People Of The North, Alcoholic Faith Mission, Iceage, Wolves In The Throne Room, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Adebisi Shank, Hood, Youth Lagoon, Wax Fang, LITE.
What are you hoping 2012 will hold for you?
It's so hard to say. We're trying to strike the balance between optimism, realism and an understanding of the perilous state of the industry. There's a danger you can wish your life away if you're always looking ahead. Hopefully 2012 will hold a lot of hard work - I'll be happy if we're playing 25 shows a month and people are coming to watch them. I'm looking forward to the album coming out too - I'm trying not to think beyond that. Fingers crossed, I guess!
Dry The River's debut album Shallow Bed is out on March 5th. Find out more about the band at their official site - www.drytheriver.net