Video Premiere: MOONRIIVR “Mother to Me”

Photo credit: Colin Medley

The latest single from Canadian group MOONRIIVR is short but beautifully formed and performed.  The combination of James Robertson’s twanging electric guitar and Ben Whiteley’s woozy upright bass is sublime and, with Lyle Molzan’s shuffling rhythms, it’s the perfect platform for Gavin Gardiner’s smooth, effortless-sounding voice.  The video, created by Andrew Collins, finds the band performing, looking relaxed while the camera pans around.  With a slightly dreamy, trippy feel, ‘Mother to Me’ feels out-of-time, an idiosyncratic beauty of a song.  Gardiner told AUK: “This song celebrates those relationships in life that are strong enough to withstand even the fiercest gales.  I’ve been learning to accept that time changes everything and sometimes you just have to be okay with where you are today and let tomorrow be tomorrow.”

Beginning as a pandemic collaboration between Gardiner and Robertson, MOONRIIVR has developed into something special.  The band members all bring a range of influences and experiences; Robertson has worked with Canadian country singer Lindi Ortega, Gardiner fronts Juno-nominated indie-folk band The Wooden Sky and bassist Whiteley is from The Weather Station and has also performed with the excellent Basia Bulat.  Adding to their distinctive sound, Molzan uses a variety of percussive instruments, such as congas, triangles and shakers, rather than a traditional drumkit, helping to create the feel of MOONRIIVR taking us on rhythmic, psychedelic sonic journey.  It’s an outstanding blend of talents.  They’ve been inspired by everything from Buddy Holly to Krautrock and there’s a dose of psychedelia in there too.  ‘Mother to Me’ is taken from the new album ‘Vol. 1’, which was released in the summer of 2023.  Recorded on an old analogue tape machine, the songs, meticulously arranged, all have a timeless quality and the blend of string synths, reverb and slide guitar makes for a distinctive and absolutely absorbing sound.  The songs were recorded in a garage with amplifiers placed inside cars, the doors opened to varying degrees to control the amount of sound leakage.  Thanks to the hot summer weather, it was necessary to keep the garage doors open, meaning that natural ambient sounds seeped into the background of the songs, adding texture and a strangeness to the final recordings. Gardiner describes how the creative process: “…really opened up a whole new musical world to me that I had heard in the music I loved.”  It’s a lovely musical world to get lost in.

About Andrew Frolish 1453 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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