The evolution of folk music over time caused an emergence of contemporary folk artists who have successfully formulated cutting edge sounds while adhering to the traditional distinctions of the genre. The new wave of singer, songwriters, composers, and musicians are not only tech-savvy but posses all of the qualities needed to innovate new styles and pioneer new ways of communicating their art form with the masses. The new age music producer often utilizes unconventional methods to develop and distribute their message. The end result of non-traditional productions underscored by traditional conventions is a contemporary hybrid driven by a synergistic expression of meaningful content.
One of the most successful and unconventional artists today is Singer-Songwriter, and composer Brett Stewart. Stewart just released his latest project entitled “Static on the Water” using the new moniker “Rivers Rubin”. Rivers’ style on the recent album might be described as eclectically nonconforming and passionately pragmatic. “Static on the Water” is a picturesqe journey through a myriad of emotions and experiences compiled into an elaborate display backed by a meticulous musical composition.
Although stylistically true to form, “Static on the Water” is not your average folk album. Rivers Rubin developed a unique, conceptual album that connects with listeners through intricate storytelling. Painstakingly, Rubin travels with fans from the introduction to the conclusion lyrically painting vivid images inspiring fans to reach within the depths of their imaginations to truly experience each and every track, while connecting with them on a personal level. Throughout the album debut, fans are introduced to the broad scope of Rivers Rubin as an imagineer, songwriter, and musician who takes his sound to the next level.
No Tall Tales
The tracks on “Static on the Water” are definitely strong conveying flawlessly with each and every play. The tone of the album presents a nostalgic feel of early American spirit in a contemporary voice and folk rock framework. The album opens with “Overture of the Stars” introducing fans to the main character that Rubin identifies as the “Hero” who is encountered throughout the entire album. Rivers Rubin was ingenious to develop the album into a storybook connecting in a cohesive manner, the style of storytelling that folk music is known for. Often times, the tracks on an artist’s albums are seemingly random and do not connect well making it difficult for listeners to follow its meaning. Rubin on the other hand, has nailed the creation of a meaningful conceptual album in a strikingly precise manner.
Rubin is poised to be one of the leading songwriters of our time. The themes delivered on the album are done so in an unambiguous manner with skillfully crafted vocals. The lyrics are gritty and realistic but composed in such a deliberate way that they effectively demonstrate Rubin’s link to music as a whole and his growing relationship between content and his fans. Songs such as “Regretful Valentine” and “Fallen Empires” paint painfully real portraits of human interactions while other tracks such as “I’m Ready, I’m Leaving, I’m Gone” provide a more candid expression of the character’s story while presented in a more upbeat tone, appropriate for the progressive nature of the album. Fans are able to experiences the highs and lows, losses and victories of Rubin’s main character as seen in the title track “Static on the Water”.
Rivers Rubin’s performance in “Static on the Water” is not only lyrically theatrical but musically epic as well. Having not only written all of the songs on the album, he also single-handedly recorded and produced the entire project, a tremendous undertaking for an indie artist. He delivers vibrant guitar accompaniments throughout the entirety of the album, one of the most powerful displayed in “Driving Northside Radio” which captures the essence of the character in the moment of the album. Rubin consistently delivers on each track contained in the album. As mentioned in his album liner notes, Rubin presented a clear beginning and end to his story and it is most certainly worth a listen, played in one sitting to really draw from the albums intricacies.
“Static on the Water” is a carefully crafted work that truly demonstrates River Rubin’s skill not only as a singer-songwriter, and musician, but a musical inventor. The album is a culmination of unconventional technique and unparalleled artistry. Rubin effectively connects with fans on a personal level through the use of imaginative themes and distinct musical compositions. He is truly a millennium artist on the rise possessing the intrinsic ability to develop striking works that influence and inspire.
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