A DARK NEW AMERICANA EMERGES FROM NW MONTANA,
WITH THE RELEASE OF NICK SPEAR’S A RIVER BELOW.
(FLATHEAD VALLEY, MONTANA)- Forget Montana images of hay bales and pop country.
Nick Spear’s independent release, A River Below, resonates with a stark and haunting beauty that follows in the footsteps of great American Folk songwriters.
Spear’s brand of Americana Gothic meanders stylistically between Dead Can Dance, Foals, Leonard Cohen, The National, and Gordon Lightfoot. The album is 11 tracks of sonic wilderness, spacious and contemplative, and explores themes of self-doubt, longing, and finding the unmarked path towards redemption.
From the mysterious imagery of the opening track, “Boulder Overlook” to the hypnotic drone of “High O’er The Heather,” the album’s tracks sail out with a raw and sparkling purity. In the stripped down “Mr. Confidence” Spear’s performance unfolds like a wavering, weary confession, and “Uncle Mine” seems to float through a desert dreamscape. A River Below also gives a nod to the late great Townes Van Zandt with a cover of his dark song of obsession, “Our Mother The Mountain.”
Musicians Rob Mosher (soprano saxophone), Tim Archer (upright and electric bass), Joe Khoroosi (violin), and Chris Beall (drums, percussion) round out the album with breath-taking minimalist finesse. A River Below was recorded and mixed by Spear and mastered by Adam Ayan at legendary Gateway Mastering in Portland, Maine.
At its heart, A River Below is a compelling work of transcendental folk that hearkens back to singer songwriters of the late ‘60’s, while still sounding current and vital.