Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artist to Watch: River Tiber

I was having coffee with a friend recently who alerted me to a new act he's working with: 24 year-old Toronto singer/songwriter and Berklee music grad Tommy Paxton-Beesley, otherwise known as River Tiber. Described to me as a mix of James Blake and Jeff Buckley - two popular comparisons thrown around too often in indie music critique - I had a bit of a "believe it when I hear it" moment, as a diehard Buckley fan. But, I then flipped on his single "Atlantis" and was frozen in awe of the young musician's raw talent, and this bang-on comparison.

In the last year, River Tiber has been described as “Toronto’s one-man answer to Rhye,” by SPIN and an “undeniably serious talent,” by the Toronto Star. Upon first listen, none of this surprises me. The slow-churning, whimsical instrumentation and his subdued, Buckley-reminiscent harmonies are chilling. Despite what I would imagine is one formidable croon, Paxton-Beesley often keeps his vocals close to himself throughout his haunting songs - symbolizing the prophetic musical ability he likely hasn't even revealed to us yet. 

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