Alarms in the Heart
While British outfits making rock music flavored with Americana and folk aren't such a rarity, finding a group whose sound is robust, expansive, and deeply satisfying is cause for excitement. Dry the River’s second album is even more richly textured than their first, and the hymnal aspect of their music is more at play on Alarms in the Heart. Peter Liddle’s quivering voice soars like a blend of Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and Will Oldham, but Liddle effortlessly takes it to the rafters when the group’s keening guitars and muscular drumming starts racing like a herd of wild horses. Dry the River are no stranger to drama, and they could teach a course on the beauty of the “slow burn.” Songs like the thrilling “Gethsemane,” the stadium-sized “Everlasting Light” (a tune with the heft of Doves or The Airborne Toxic Event), and the heartbreakingly lovely “Vessel”—with its faint shadows of Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah”—could serve as classroom curricula for the course. Ripe with religious references and lyrical poetry, it’s fitting that Alarms in the Heart was recorded in Iceland, a place of quiet, volcanic beauty.