This album came out a couple months too early.
I don't mean that literally, as my ears have not been complaining while listening to it the past couple days… but you know how some albums just ooze sunshine while others function like a wool blanket to shield you from the cold? Well, this album sort of falls in between those two extremes. Which makes it a perfect album for Spring; when the winter is visibly on it's last legs, but it's still too early to start cutting the sleeves off of your shirts.
Or at least that was the overriding thought in my head while Fair Oaks’ debut accompanied me on my morning coffee & bad habit outside this morning. The second most popular thought was “hey… there's a bit of a Shins vibe on here and I dig it”.
There's no denying that this is a really strong and polished debut, which is not surprising, seeing as how Andy Ulseth is the same Andy Ulseth that put out this brilliant album 3 years ago. And I'm gonna go out on a not-researched-but-backed-by-a-I-think-I'm-pretty-sure-gut-feeling that the Eric Carlson on guitar here is the same one that was in the now defunct Colder In Moscow. So, given my prior enjoyment of the parts that help make up this new outing, I would have been very surprised if I didn't like ‘This Is The River’… and surprise, surprise, I like it.
So do yourself a favour and go listen for yourself. And then start getting your Spring wardrobe ready… because winter is c̶o̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ leaving (in a month or two).