Riverby – ‘Smart Mouth’ album review

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New Take This to Heart Records signings Riverby are all set to release their debut album on 10 July with 100% of the profits being donated to the Split Bail Fund via Act Blue. The record finds vocalist and guitarist Sophia Greenberg revisiting their past while also trying to make sense of where they stand in the world today.

There’s a Camp Cope-esque anti-folk tinge to the opening ‘Nose to Nose’, a song that finds Sophia trying to take the positives from a current situation: ‘I just want to savour this moment, don’t wanna know how high I am from the ground’. The power pop of the title track swiftly follows and this is a song that would have perfectly slotted into any late ’90s or early 2000s teen movie with its emo sensibilities and lyrics about finding your confidence: ‘I never learned how to shut up. I never figured out how to be modest. If I was, it wouldn’t be much fun’.

There are also potent hooks running throughout ‘Giving Tree’, although the subject of this song finds Sophia trying to break away from a toxic situation and learning important life lessons: ‘You only come round when it’s dark outside. I’m starting to think I made you up as you’re never there when I open my eyes’; ‘Take all that I have take all that I am, I’ll be your giving tree’. ‘Out of Tune’ is more considered with its glacial effects giving real consideriation to Sophia’s acceptance of the end of one of their relationships: I can’t be who you wanted me to be. I can’t see who you wanted me to see’. Things are ramped up again with the spiky pop punk of ‘The Tell Tale Heart’, but again this masks an air of sadness: ‘Every time you go, you take another piece of me’.

‘Echoes’ glides more to the twinkly emo sound (‘You always left me needing more’) before the chunky riffs of ‘In My Dreams’ draws the album to a close. This is a personal piece about how easy it is to fall for someone: ‘I’ll keep writing songs about you because you’re so exciting to me’; ‘I’m hypnotised y the ash of your cigarette as you talk about socialist regimes. I’ll see you in my dreams’.

It would be a very smart move to get your hands on ‘Smart Mouth’.

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