Rough River is the musical project of Melbourne singer-songwriter of Kate Skinner and she just released a self-titled album Rough River you are not going to want to miss. Simply put this album is exceptional. Let’s starts with that voice. Skinner has a deep soulful voice that sounds undeniably feminine with a slight country vibe. Her voice sometimes sounds like a more rustic version of PJ Harvey if that makes any sense. Musically, the album is full of organic, acoustic instrumentation that is rich and full of color. Skinner not only is a gifted guitarist as she demonstrates on songs like “Sometimes” but she is also a classically trained violinist. The violin is skillfully implemented and not overused.
The album kicks off with “Sweet Saccharin,” which melds old school country with Americana. Skinner delivers a great vocal performance that sits on top of violin, drums, bass and guitar. The song spews warmth and instills a sense of tranquility.
Skinner follows up with the melancholy “Around.” The song moves at a perfect slow pace, which only enhances the emotional impact of the song. Both “Sometimes” and “Country Child” prove that Skinner doesn't need anything more than a guitar to put on a captivating performance. “Sometimes” in particular is arguably the highlight of the album. Skinner’s vocals are smothered in the perfect amount of reverb as she delivers one her most memorable vocal performances.
As the album progresses it is obvious that Skinner has a propensity to make melancholy music. Sometimes an album with not enough upbeat songs is hard to get through but not this one. Skinner delivers such emotional resonant performances on songs like “Almost Home” “Follow You Love” and “Cry My Bones” that it really doesn't matter because of how much meaning she packs in there.
It’s obvious I'm a big fan of this album. I'm not blowing smoke. This is great stuff. Listen, share and enjoy.
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