River Whyless at Volcanic
Fri, Aug 10 at 8pm
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.
“It was a feeling of openness and hope and acceptance,” says singer-violinist Halli Anderson of
the multi-week sessions with producer Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka) that
resulted in some of River Whyless’ most dynamic, genre-bending and heartfelt material yet.
Creatives regularly waver between honoring their own creation and rallying around larger ideas
for the benefit of the group. But with every member of River Whyless now charting a life outside
the band, and also writing on their own, when coming together to record Kindness it was never
more crucial they be open and honest with each other.
Despite having never felt more unified in their vision for the future, much as they’ve navigated
their freewheeling career to date, River Whyless is choosing to not predict what lies ahead.
Allowing their creative union to continue guiding them, they insist, remains their only constant.
“It feels like you’re on a journey with your family,” McWalters says of the satisfaction of being
in a band like River Whyless. “It’s a beautiful thing.”