93XRT welcomes River Whyless / OHMME / Luke Callen
Friday, Feb 17, 2017 9:00 PM CST
Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
When RIVER WHYLESS set out to write We All The Light (out August 26th on Roll Call Records), its three original members – RYan O’Keefe, Halli Anderson and Alex McWalters – were already accustomed to “collaborating” with each other. Collaboration is a word often used to glamorize a much less appealing process: compromise. It’s a give and take, a back and forth, an amendment of individual visions for the sake of something greater. With We All The Light, River Whyless bought into that process.
In O’Keefe and Anderson the Asheville, NC band already had two accomplished songwriters. In McWalters, an idiosyncratic percussionist. when Daniel Shearin joined the band in 2012, RIVER WHYLESS acquired not only an accomplished bass player and multi-instrumentalist, but also a third singer/songwriter. The new dynamic added yet another strong personality to an already potent lot, and the result was a period of creative gestation wherein the band’s four distinct musical voices struggled to coalesce into a single vision.
We All The Light is an album about heeding the need to adapt, to change, and, yes, to relinquish. It’s about submitting to the pains of compromise in order to honor the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s about taking to heart the virtues of equality and learning how much more complicated that can be in practice than in theory. But also how rewarding.