Mipso has always been a creative democracy. On their fourth album, Edges Run (April 6, 2018 | AntiFragile Music), the North Carolina quartet takes this ideal to greater lengths than ever before. “We’re four personalities with different ways of telling stories who hope to tell a stronger story collectively,” says vocalist, fiddle player and songwriter Libby Rodenbough of bandmates Jacob Sharp (vocalist, mandolinist and songwriter), Joseph Terrell (vocalist, guitarist, songwriter) and Wood Robinson (vocalist, bassist). “Working so closely forces all of your edges to rub up against each other.” Whether it was the natural progression of being a band for five years or, perhaps, a product of the unnatural amount of time the four spend together in close quarters, Rodenbough, Sharp, Terrell, and Robinson were feeling artistically stir-crazy when they began to envision recording their fourth album. There was a mutual desire to expand, though how that experiment would unfold was still a mystery.
For many bands, and especially those who’ve been together for several years, recognizing maturation, progress or palpable evolution is a daunting task. Is it continued creative accomplishment that signals progression? Or perhaps it’s profitable commercial endeavors? The answer is often quite unclear. Six years, two albums and countless gigs after first forming as a band, River Whyless, the North Carolina-bred folk-rock outfit has discovered their evolution is a subtler albeit monumentally important one. Deep in the throes of writing and recording their bold new album, Kindness, A Rebel, the four musicians reached a necessary and collective understanding. Namely: this band is their lifeblood, their family and their love. To that end, with unspoken acceptance, the members of River Whyless, each songwriters in their own right, collectively put aside their respective egos, coalesced around each other’s creative vision, and fully embraced the beauty of their enduring partnership.