[Album Review] River Tiber- Indigo
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Release Date: June 24th, 2016
Label: Arts & Crafts

After Drake and the OVO camp there has been an emergence of artists that represent “Toronto sound”, slick R&B with moody production. Tommy Paxton-Beesley aka River Tiber represents this sound in their debut Indigo.

In a bustling city, like Toronto, it’s hard not to have life go at a fast pace but with Indigo, River Tiber takes their sweet sweet time. The album opener “Genesis” is like an interlude that is in no rush to get anywhere but encapsulate you with surrounding sound. It is followed by “No Talk” which Mr. Toronto (Drake) actually sampled in the second half of his track “No Tellin”. The vocals are delivered as  gentle as speech with vocal looping to make-up the chorus.

Like their buds, BADBADNOTGOOD, River Tiber pay attention to musicianship and arrangement carefully. “Acid Test” shows the drums and moving bass line just as integral to the track as the vocals. At times, it even sounds like BBNG might be there playing with Paxton-Beesley.

Other tracks like, “Midnight” have a more electronic backing highlighting carefully crafted production that allow us to dreamy in the dark alleys in Toronto. The Daniel Caesar featuring “West”, floats like the drifting person they’re singing about.

The fastest track of the album “Motives” comes appropriately mid-album and has some dance worthy beats but continues the dark brooding.  It is followed by “Barcelona” which has some strange off-beat hand clapping.

Things get bassy in the Tess Parks featuring track “Clarity”. With this tune, it’s not surprising that hip-hop artists (Drake, Jazz Cartier, Daniel Caesar etc) have turned to the group for collaborations. “I’m A Stone” occasionally use very minimal production elements effectively where as the following “Maria” pushes the lines between a bit too much and “Green in Blue” is entirely instrumental.

River Tiber remains uncompromisingly chill and slow throughout the entire album but if you’re patient enough to make it to the end, “Flood” is by far the greatest track combine everything that makes this band great (production, arrangement, brooding vocals) into a track that builds up to one epic ending.