Run River North may have completely transformed since their formation in 2011 but this three-piece indie-rock band from Los Angeles have not lost the ability to craft captivating melodies and memorable tracks. Their new album ‘Creatures In Your Head’ will leave you drumming out the rhythms to each song on the nearest surface while you get lost in the powerful vocals.
Consisting of Alex Kwang and Daniel Chae on vocals and guitar and Sally Kang on keyboard and supporting vocals, the band ushered in a new sound with their release of the two EPs ‘Monsters Calling Home, Vol. 1’ and ‘Monsters Calling Home, Vol. 2’ in 2019. Moving away from indie-folk, the EPs boasted a more mature, aggressive rock sound.
This sound is developed in ‘Creatures In Your Head’. The album sounds like the playful sibling of the previous two EPs with each track embracing different sounds. The album highlights the band’s progression to rock and its recent development of a more electronic sound while also acknowledging the acoustic origin of the band.
The first track is titled ‘Creatures In Your Head’ and sets the tone of the entire album. It’s both upbeat and melancholic, with its catchy melody disguising raw lyrics. The layered vocals of all three band members create a bittersweet experience for the listener while the extended instrument sections are difficult not to nod your head along to.
‘Hummingbird’ is a stand-out track and features Hang’s vocals more than the previous songs. Her haunting voice combines beautifully with the electronic melody. The lyrics are steeped in sorrow –
I can’t explain how much it hurts
Every second’s getting worse
The repetition of these lines throughout the song highlights the vulnerability and difficulties that can come with change.
This is immediately juxtaposed by the next track, ‘Funhouse’, which can only be described as a rock song with its heavier bassline, catchy rifts and upbeat tempo. It’s fast-paced, fun (if you’ll excuse the pun…) and will undoubtedly make you want to dance.
Changing sounds again, the band pays homage to their folk roots with the acoustic track ‘Goodnight Moon.’ Its heartfelt lyrics explore the complicated nature of family and its impact on the development of individual identity.
The album then concludes with the track ‘Weight’ with its cautiously hopeful sound. Fittingly, the album ends with the lyrics
Your colors bleed
And others see the change in you
This connects to the overall theme of transformation and growth within this album, reflecting the band’s own sound which has matured from their previous EPs.
Run River North is a band that you must keep your eyes on and make sure you listen out for otherwise you’ll miss a truly transforming experience.
‘Creatures In Your Head’ will be released on the 12th of February 2021 to music streaming services.