It's expected that sometime in the space between a band's debut and sophomore record the idea will be entertained to tweak, perhaps even completely reinvent their sound and British indie rock quartet Dry the River are perhaps no exception. While the departure of violinist/multi-instrumentalist Will Harvey might've played some part, it turns out (or at least in the case of the past two singles) that Dry the River are forgoing the folkier aspects of their humble folk rock beginnings in favor of much more rock edged pop approach. The positive here being that they are freed a bit from the sense of pervasive melancholy that seemed to ensnare Peter Liddle's poignant but often morose songwriting.
"Everlasting Light", the second single from the upcoming sophomore effort Alarms in the Heart, proves that Liddle is capable of effective lyricism at a quicker pace and that the band are a lot more fun than their material might otherwise suggest. Taking a rather different approach and having the source of Liddle and company's pain be the external rather than the emotional or spiritual, the video for "Everlasting Light" sees Dry the River lads paired with a group of fearsome women with black belts in karate. An expected amount of carnage ensues as the band find themselves way over their head but bruised pride aside, the quartet find themselves virtually unscathed from the floor-mopping bout.
"Everlasting Light" also dismantles a bit of Dry the River's characteristic climactic surges perhaps for the best. While the way they've done so has never seemed particularly rote, there's no denying that it proved to be an oft used part of the band's formula and "Everlasting Light" quickly establishes that the band can do without it to advance the song forward. There's clearly climactic highs reached in "Everlasting Light" but rather than the whole band rallying forward in a trademark swell, it's achieved simply through Liddle's own natural cadence - his vocals rising without the need for a band's tumultuous deluge.
Dry the River's sophomore album Alarms in the Heart is out August 26th on Trangressive Records.