Album Review: By The Rivers- Self Titled

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Mixing together pop, ska and reggae, Leicester band By The Rivers won’t be soon forgotten after their eponymous debut album.

It’s fairly difficult to file By The Rivers under just one genre. Their fun, melodic style takes influence from a number of genres, including pop, ska, reggae, soul and motown. Their debut album introduces us to this incredible, fresh, laid-back style that you’ve likely never heard before.

The record wastes no time in showing you what the band is all about. ‘Vultures’ is a happy, up-beat song that demonstrates the band’s signature genre instantly. From the get-go, we’re thrown in to a catchy chorus that’ll have you bopping your head to the beat in no time! To add to the Caribbean-esque feel, there’s even an instrumental section that gives the brass instruments a shout out. This song alone will have you intrigued to learn more about the band.

The album is full of catchy and laid back numbers, the majority of which are brilliantly uplifting. One of the stand-out tracks, ‘Take Control’, takes a slightly more serious tone. While staying true to the band’s jazzy feel, including the great vocal harmonies and energetic sound, this song adopts a subtle bass line and a political message. ‘Take Control’ was written around the time of the UK General Election and suggests that no matter who the people vote for, they will not be listened to. It’s definitely an interesting tune that urges listeners to “take control of the situation”.

Closing the band’s debut studio effort is ‘Rocksteady’. This song wouldn’t be out of place if you heard it on any of the Reggae greats’ sets, including Bob Marley & The Wailers. Once again, it’s another track that leaves you humming (if not singing) along, with it’s brilliant hooks and unforgettable melodies.

Overall, By The Rivers is one of the most interesting bands to come out of England in a long time. Their self-titled album produces feel-good vibes unlike anything else released in the last century of music. I, for one, will definitely be keeping an eye on the Leicester lads for new releases in the future!


Check out ‘Take Control’ by By The Rivers below:


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