In 2016, Spotify included the track ‘Heart Attack‘ from the self-titled debut album by Wild Rivers in my weekly Made For You playlist and it was love at first listen!
What followed has been a beautiful musical journey, falling more in love with the band with each release from their 2018 EP ‘Eighty-Eight‘ and latest album ‘Sidelines‘ (2022), a personal ode to the transformative coming of age that takes place in your mid-twenties.
Every irresistible melody, deeply personal lyric and dreamlike harmony never fails to take my breath away – especially live! Their music has been a safe place and my soundtrack for so many of the big moments – falling in love, moving to a new city and dealing with unexpected change.
The band are currently on tour as special guests to The Chicks in North America but are taking a break to visit the UK for a series of headline dates kicking off in Glasgow tonight and includes Leeds, London, Bristol and Brighton. The band will also play the Moseley Folk Festival in Birmingham on the 2nd September.
Any remaining tickets for the headline tour are on sale HERE.
29th – Glasgow, Oran Mor
30th – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
1st – London, Islington Assembly Hall
2nd – Birmingham, Moseley Folk & Arts Festival
3rd – Bristol, Thekla
4th – Brighton, Komedia
The UK shows are part of Wild Rivers’ wider European tour, which will continue with shows in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Denmark.
Ahead of the start of the band’s UK and Europe tour dates, I spoke to Andrew Oliver (guitar and synths) about all things music…
Which musicians first made you fall in love with music? Was there a particular song or performance that made you think “Wow! That’s what I want to do!”?
My earliest memories of music are listening to Neil Young, The Clash and Thin Lizzy in the back of my dad’s car. I was completely fascinated. He would put different songs on the radio and ask me questions about it. This sparked an obsession and curiosity in listening to and discovering music.
The first time I saw my friend Brady play guitar, it absolutely blew my mind. We were about 12, and it was the first time I realised that it was something that could be learned and taught.
How did you all first meet and what do you love most about being part of Wild Rivers?
We met through mutual friends in college. Dev (Devan Glover – vocals) and Khal (Khalid Yassein – vocals and guitar) had been doing acoustic duo coffeehouse shows. They had booked a show and wanted to put a band together for it. We met up and rehearsed for the one gig, and then just kept booking more and more.
My favourite part of being in the band is the constant adventure with friends. We are super lucky to experience an incredible amount of new places, experiences, food, and meet new people. It’s awesome to be able to share and look back on these memories with the group. I feel super fortunate to have people in my life that share this obsession with creating music.
Since releasing your self-titled debut album in 2016, how has your creative process evolved as individuals and as a band?
We’ve all discovered so much music in the years since then so we’ve expanded our influences drastically. We have also learned a lot about production and instrumentation which has allowed us to use a much wider pallet. Our first LP was similar to a live band; mostly acoustic instruments with little ear-candy or production elements.
‘Sidelines’ was more of a tapestry of sounds, using synths and processing to create a bed of sounds for the songs. We have been fortunate to write and work with lots of talented songwriters and producers, and we learn a little bit from each one along the way.
Of all the tracks you have released as a band, is there one that are you most proud to have created and why?
This answer constantly changes for me, but at the moment I would say ‘Amsterdam‘ is one of my favourites from a songwriting and production perspective. It blends acoustic and electronic elements in a magical way.
What has the experience of supporting The Chicks on their world tour been like and how did you find out that you’d be supporting them?
A few months back we got a group FaceTime call from our manager Michelle at 11pm. She never calls that late, so we knew it was something really good or really bad. She told us and we all just freaked out. A very fun moment and memory.
The tour has been an absolute blast. It feels absolutely surreal to play shows in arenas with over 10,000 people. It’s been mind-blowing that people seem to know our songs.
The crew, their band, and The Chicks themselves have been so kind and have made us feel comfortable in what could be a very overwhelming experience.
It has been illuminating to peek into what the next level could be like, and super inspiring to be around such badass, graceful and incredibly talented humans. The best part is getting to watch their set every night.
You also have a solo tour in the UK and Europe coming up. How are you feeling ahead of that and is there a dream venue or festival that you would love to play one day and why?
We are so excited to get back to the UK and Europe. We had the time of our lives last year. We are excited to play some more intimate shows in some clubs and theatres, and to see some new spots.
Of all the gigs that you have ever done, is there one that stands out most to you and why?
Our headline show at Massey Hall is the one that jumps to mind. It is an old, legendary, beautiful theatre in Toronto with about 2700 seats. When we started the band, we wrote a list of goals, and “sell-out Massey Hall” was at the top. One of the albums we all listened to growing up was Neil Young – Live at Massey Hall 1971.
We sold it out last year and it was so magical to see all our friends, family, and fans that had been there since the early days of the band.
Besides touring, what else are you planning over the next year?
We are making new music! We went to Joshua Tree a couple of months ago and recorded a bunch of new songs, and are working our way through production and mixing.
What piece of music do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience it for the first time again?
What is one artist that you think everyone should have to listen to?
By Eveline Vouillemin ©