On a hungover morning in February I was walking through London Fields on the way back to my flat. It was typically overcast and my eyes were on my feet. I was thinking about a similar park near my secondary school in Newbury. Somehow, the opening lines of a song appeared unbidden.
“I was lying on the floor of the playground. You were chasing off a kid with a greyhound. I remember thinking you’re the coolest girl I know.”
At the time Dry the River were in something of a wilderness, creatively and temporally. There were a lot of uncertainties surrounding the record – when it would be finished and how we would get there, who we wanted to work with in terms of our wider team.
In the practice room later that day I mumbled the words over some chords for the rest of the boys to hear, and by the evening the song existed, dreamt up out of our collective subconscious, as though it had just been waiting for us to find it.
The rest of the record kind of reconstituted itself around that new knot of music, and now we find ourselves a month from the release of our second album, renewed and excited.
For me, Everlasting Light represents the path out of the wilderness – a kind of unlikely moment of clarity where we remembered what its like to be a band in a room. Listening to it now, it feels like we were trying to exonerate ourselves, trying to articulate the feeling that all the detours we’d taken were part of the process, and that we were beginning to find our feet in our own way.
Who knows – still, it feels cathartic to shout “I had my reasons at the time”.
The combative video came from these themes – of getting back up after a setback, dusting ourselves off. The black belts are real, and so is the pain.
See you in the dojo.
Spring approaches, things are waking up, coming to life, resurrecting. And so are we.
One year ago, we migrated to the snowy emptiness of Iceland, holed ourselves up and began work on our second record. We didn’t know anything, really, about what form that record might take, or how long it would take us to get there.
It was our first break from touring in three years, and it became a chance to reflect. We’ve always done things on the fly, blissfully unconcerned with the details, but suddenly we had this breathing space to deconstruct our music and our processes. We had time to figure out what we want to get from Dry the River, and what we want our supportive listeners to get from it all, too. The journey took us to many places, from bedrooms to farms to city studios spread across three countries and many months. On the way we had a lineup change, as violinist Will moved on to new things, and other significant team changes behind the scenes. There were times when we got pretty disconcerted, when everything went quiet and we couldn’t see how it would work out, but slowly we started to see a path in the wilderness.
Over the past months we’ve moved from deconstruction to reconstruction. We’ve addressed our uncertainties, taken control and everything has come together in a better way. There have been rehearsals and planning meetings, excited chats with artists and filmmakers and friends from across the creative spectrum. There’s a lot to say – a lot of exciting announcements. All will be revealed in the coming weeks. For now, though, the honest truth is that we’re feeling happier and more focused and better prepared than ever.
See you soon, gang.