This River Tiber article was written by Danielle Illif, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse
Toronto’s River Tiber, originally starting out with Tommy Paxton-Beesley and now a four-piece band, have released their second EP following ‘The Star Falls’.
‘No Talk’ kicks off ‘When The Time Is Right,’ with a profound melancholy and introspective yearning, and such emotions are to be revisited throughout the EP. The circularity of the soft drum and synth loop create a tired hopelessness, mirrored in the title and hook, whilst the high-pitched, wavering hums of Paxton-Beesley, coexisting with his low and haunting vocals are reminiscent of the poignant musical juxtapositions of artists such as James Blake.
Paxton-Beesley gained a rightful recognition of his talent earlier this year when the track ‘No Talk’ was sampled on Drake’s ‘No Tellin’ from his mixtape ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’.
‘Lost’ hears the return of Paxton-Beesley’s pining croons and teams a simple electric guitar riff with a striking and unsettling chord. The soulful and pensive ‘Let You Go’, however, is underpinned by a simple yet fervent piano which makes for smooth and easy listening; telling a tale of despair and loss with the clichéd vocal: “It turns to water when I try to hold it.” As the track draws to its end, it reaches an exquisite beauty where the now synth-driven instrumentals deliciously dissolve and dissipate.
The guitar riff opening the fourth and title track ‘When the Time is Right’ eases the listener into a dreamlike stupor, questioned by the repeating lyric “Are we awake now?” The listener awaits a climax to rouse them out of this haze, yet is sadly denied of any such desired switch in intensity.
The EP concludes with ‘Waves’. The light, quiet rhythm accompanies a self-assured and stronger beat; a confidence previously heard by River Tiber in the raw and powerful cymbal and guitar arrangement of ‘Prophets’. With all layers of the track coming together, the latter third of the song erupts into a harmonious beat the listener cannot help but feel compelled to move to, whether this be a nod of the head or tap of the feet. This energy, regrettably, is short-lived.
Though Paxton-Beesley’s electronic and R&B experimentation is both welcomed and commended, its full potential is impeded by the sometimes unrefined and unfinished feel the listener is left with at the end of River Tiber’s songs. The EP is perfect for chilled, late-night listening, and we will be expecting many more things from Paxton-Beesley as he expresses an avid interest in both future collaborations and production.
‘When The Time Is Right’ EP is out now via River Tiber.