Dry the River: “New Ceremony”
British band Dry the River has been saddled with comparisons to contemporary neo-folk acts like Fleet Foxes and fellow-Brits Mumford and Sons. While the band does take folk melodies as a starting point (and they have the requisite beards to prove it), they’ve created an exciting melange of styles that put them squarely in the rock and roll camp.
That may have a little bit to do with the kind of bands Dry the River members cut their teeth in. Group founder Peter Liddle formed the Dry the River out of a pool of friends he played with in hardcore and post-punk groups as a teenager and at university. The band now stands at five members: Liddle as the frontman, guitarist Matt Taylor, bassist Scott Miller, Will Harvey on violin and drummer Jon Warren.
2011 was a big year for Dry the River. They released their debut EP, and strong performances at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival and SXSW here in Austin earned them some attention as well. The band just released their first full-length record, Shallow Bed, and today’s song of the day “New Ceremony,” is that record’s second track. You can hear earnestness and the intimacy of folk in Liddle’s tenor, but the song exhibits a uniquely British sense of power and undeniable pop sense. It’s so anthemic it might be a bit too big for a back porch hoot, but it’s certainly tailor-made for an arena rock show.