River Tiber makes electronic & soul as one
Very few acts can successfully titer between simultaneous genres and pull off a homogenous sound, but River Tiber’s blend of soul, electronic, and ominous undertones to create a grungy sonic experience.
The young group of talented musicians from Toronto, founded by enigmatic instrumentalist and producer Tommy Paxton-Beesley, started in his mid-20s, he takes care of most of the compositions and sampling they use on the record and stage performances. River Tiber is interesting, as on record, it is solely Paxton-Beesly in studio producing the music and playing all instruments, but to be able to portray the vibe live, he carries an entire band in his back pocket for when needed.
Martyr had the chance to take in the experience as they played the Drake Underground in Toronto on Nov. 21. The Drake is an intimate venue, with a room capacity of about 200 people, and with a dark ambiance usually with scarlet lighting, it made for a perfect setting for River Tiber’s musical theatrics.
Without knowing the back story with the artist, you’d never tell from album to stage that it was two entirely different structures, an ode to Paxton-Beesly’s seamless compositional skills and music writing ability. On stage, the group is completed with John Mavro on guitar and vocals, David Lewis on bass, and Thadeus Garwood on the kit.He’s garnered a solid fan base along with his on-stage counterparts, and an interesting factor looking around that night at the audience, was the outnumbering of females to males by a ratio of nearly 4:1.
Granted that their music has a mellow, and sometimes sombre entrancing vibe to it, this type of music keeps its balance though with deeply poetic lyrics and gentle tugging at heart-strings.
The band has a greatly lit back drop branding themselves, leaving no confusion to the crowd as to who left them in a daze of drinks, candles, red lights, and sonically soothing symphonies.
River Tiber played a delightful blend of old songs that fans grew up loving him for, as well as songs from the newly released EP The Star Falls, which came out earlier this month. Their song “The City” which has been remixed by Kwikfiks to speed up the tempo in a recent video release, is always a huge hit with fans. As well, the title track from the new EP, which he also just released a featured video for, also got the crowd going and the girls cheering for more.
After a set of just over an hour, the fans wanted more but it was closing time. The dimmed lights come up, and the Drake returns to its debonaire lounge-like feel, and eventually clears out.
River Tiber is on everyone’s radar, especially affectionados of the electronic genre of music. His style grabs influence from every genre out there, and being as multi-talented as Paxton-Beesly is, makes it a breeze for him to throw together an entire tune piece by piece once he has an idea in his head. The entire process comes to life with the band fluidly, and as previously stated, without reading a story like this with the details, you’d never never be any the wiser as to the group’s dichotomy.
Story by Devin Size, Photos by ftfphotography