Sometimes life feels like we were launched out of a cannon that some invisible force directed in the hopes we’ll land somewhere soft. We tend to be most aware of this feeling in our twenties, and sometimes beyond. We can’t be oblivious to the trials and tribulations that naturally comes to the transitions into young adulthood and it appears Wild Rivers isn’t either. Co-produced by Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Sharon van Etten), Khalid Yassein (guitar, vocals, keys), Devan Glover (vocals) and Andrew Oliver (lead guitar, synths), under the moniker Wild Rivers, will release their sophomore album Sidelines February 4th (Nettwerk) to a world where, admittedly, most are just trying to find a path.
Sidelines is like following an isolated road along a forgotten river for miles without encountering another soul somewhere deep in the heart of pop-focused Americana. At moments you’ll lose sight of the river as the road shifts with the land, but you subtly smile to yourself when your path meets back up. The songwriting heart of Wild Rivers is the river and the road their melodies. Diverging only slightly at times, with purpose to play to emptiness, but with a warm relief when they naturally align once more. Sidelines embraces a maturity for Wild Rivers that is well beyond the six years since their first self-titled release. The confidence of writing is elevated with the vocals of Yassein and Glover settling down and delivering a more fluid presence. Those familiar with Wild Rivers will be sure to catch Glover settling into a more confident, natural delivery. The trio, however, do anything but settle. The culmination of introspection and maturity reflect in a sentiment that is miles beyond Wild Rivers (2016), only to show us there are many miles left on this journey.
Thankfully the path laid out by Wild Rivers, an audio epiphany for the trio, is one that allows us to move within its creation and begin to find a direction, wherever you are in your journey. At where they are in life, Sidelines is a beacon of promise. It is a record, which is largely a coming to terms with what so many of us find in young adulthood, paired expertly with beautiful vocal duality against a backdrop of unbridled harmonies played in such a way they’re meant to just float on until they land on willing ears, Sidelines is an unmistakable turning point for Wild Rivers.