Rivers

My Little Baby

(Independent)

Rivers is the stage name of Rachel Early. Working with musician and producer Chris Corney, she has created a set of songs that take the listener on a journey through her head, concerns, feelings and hopes.

Opening cut My Little Baby is a sombre start indeed. Stark piano chords and a gently impassioned vocal, mid range. It sounds like an ancient gospel tune. E bowed guitar and a light synth wash creates a Celtic desolation before guitars on delay build the tune on a deep vocal undercurrent. Enya goes Goth, in a way…

Twinkling guitars introduce Mother Nature before a jaunty upstroke tempo takes over. It’s a folky voice, if one were pushed to describe it, but the production sounds contemporary rather than traditionally embroidery. This has a cool.languid vocal and a hint of reggae in the backdrop. Shouldn’t work but somehow, it does. Figure It Out

uses a stealthy start before settling into a soft melody reminiscent of French film soundtracks. It’s well-keyed this one and about here I realise who the vocal phrasing reminds me of – Sandie Shaw. With a hint of Chrissie Hynde !

The One For You takes its time, sliding in over tremelo’d piano. A lovely lyric and performance. Nervous has a gentle patter of a sound and would have made a better starter track. Strong guitar drives the tune along but man, does this need a trumpet counterpoint as a hook ! Nonetheless, probably my favourite track on this set. Love Don’t Owe Me is night music, the synth tone a tad too commonplace perhaps but the singing insistent in an almost Banshees way. This one has an attractive purposefulness to it. Hush and its lush electric guitar makes an immediate impact, Rivers sounds very confident and this shows in the delivery on what at its core is a Shangi-Las/Lesley Gore style lament. The steady rock pulse of Raise A Glass could have been toughened a little more with no detriment to the song. The guitar arrangement is well-considered and not overdone, the bass being excellent.

On to Who Am I which is stripped back over piano, as much a poem as a song I suggest. The strings are fine as is the layered singing. Final selection is This Time with a confident 50s ambience but thankfully no over-emoting. A bit close to Purple Rain, Chris??

A few more hard instrumental solo’s would have made this a more band-sounding record but Rivers’ voice sounds good and free of affectations throughout. If she can deliver in performance, this all bodes well…

Pete Sargeant



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(Thanks Tracy)

You can watch the official music video for 'My Little Baby' in this article.

Rivers' debut album 'My Little Baby' is released on Friday 27th July 2018 independently.

For more information visit her Rivers official Facebook page here: http://bit.ly/2mwuGL6