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Album Review : When Rivers Meet – We Fly Free

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This latest release by Aaron and Grace Bond shows us a collection of extremely well written songs.

From the opening of ‘Did I Break the Law’ to the closing of the title track ‘We Fly Free’ we are taken on a journey of seductive vocals, splendid melodies, raunchy guitars parts and perfect harmonies.

The are a few things that I cannot abide when it comes to vocals. One of them is the overuse of what we call ‘vocals acrobatics.

Normally it’s done untastefully and by someone who cannot do it. Grace can! You can tell that she knows her voice well moving from her chest resonance up through her mix and into head and back smoothly and just singing the song, telling the story.

There is great range and clarity in her voice that I really like. It’s got that commercial, yet still earthy, bluesy texture.

They kind of remind me of the now separated ‘The Civil Wars’ however with some major differences. Unlike Joy Williams, Grace has a much thicker tone to her voice that lends itself more to the rock/ blues style and Aaron uses much more of a range of guitar sounds unlike John Paul White.

Speaking of guitar work, Mr. Bond has a great sound and again knows when to keep it simple, to let the vocal and story shine and when to then let go and give it some.

When he does it give it that much more effect! The first single ‘Battleground’ has this wonderful commercial sound with hooks that make you pick it up within an instant, but it still has a raw energy that keeps it true to their style.

Tunes like ‘Kissing The Sky’ and ‘Walking On The Wire’ have that typical blues sound, great harmonies and some wonderful guitar work form Aaron showing some slide work also.

I Will Fight’. We hear piano chords ring out under a haunting and intricate melody sung by Grace. She really shows great control and tone here. Aaron’s harmonies give it depth and the guitar solo, although short, is really well written.

A favourite of mine on the record is ‘Burn my Body’ . The simplicity, the harmonies, the lyrics. It all hits the metaphorical chord with me and one that will stay with me for a while.

There are a lot of strong songs on here including ‘Take Me To The River’. Aarons takes lead on this vocally and although his voice is not as strong he can still hold a tune and croons it out well !

The latter part of the album consists of ‘Friend of Mine’ and the title track ‘We Fly Free’ both of which are again dynamic, well put together tracks.
Overall it’s an album I have thoroughly enjoyed and will continue to listen to. When Rivers Meet know they’re instruments and know what it takes to write a great song! I am looking forward to catching them live.

Review by Luke Short by MPM

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