The River Tramps
It fits that Niko Martine and Adam Cohen, the married pair who call themselves River Tramps, are, in offstage-life, a couple of born tramps. They live on the road, in a van outfitted for mobile living, their wanderlust fueling their search for pure harmony. Certainty and security mean less to them than perpetual motion, the energy that rocks inquisitive souls out of limbo.
Having roamed and written together for several years, they are now set to release Mare and the Maiden, their first official EP. In a genre best identified as indie-western, each of the five tracks goes somewhere different if the EP is a single town, drenched in western light and crawling with wicked characters, each track visits a different street. The kickoff title track mixes Johnny & June with Bonnie & Clyde, following a troubled couple through a hellish midnight romp.
Onward, the record visits front-porch flat-pickers (Like to Be Lonely), wanderers looking toward the next horizon (Potomac), strung-out souls in a dark, diffuse saloon (State of Mind), and a domestic pair facing down the gulf that separates them (Stairwell). Youll think of classics like Devils & Dust-era Bruce Springsteen and Sweet Revenge-era John Prine. Youll hear Loretta Lynn, The Avett Brothers, Cass McCombs, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Its a broad set of characters, a rich sonic landscape, a complex emotional palette.
But while each song has its own domain, the consistent mood is intensity, pushing at the edges of tempo and tone, enervating the listener, taking them along on the nomadic thrill ride. The singers believe in resolution, in soul-satisfaction, even though it seems like its miles and miles away. Nikos voice soars, and Adams is an anchor; the back-and-forth generates a dynamism only a couple of true tramps could produce.
Their debut single Mare And The Maiden is out now.
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