The title of The River Fane’s new EP ‘Ah Here’ may allude at some sort of exasperation, but there is nothing about their music to throw your hands into the air in incredulity. Having first emerged in 2011 with their quirky experimental folk, they quickly released two EPs before an unforeseen sabbatical made core members Johnny Fox and Derren Dempsey diverge in different directions. The ‘Ah Here’ EP sees them regroup and have included Neil Partridge on bass and ex-Enemies drummer Oisin Trench.
Taking stock of where ‘Ah Here’ sees them expand on the promise of their initial EPs. The 70’s vibe and unconventional take on folk compares favourably with Fleet Foxes, Grandaddy and Irish contempories O Emperor. In a time where we are saturated with new music we can sometimes pass judgment on music if it doesn’t capture our attention in the opening minute, then justice would not be done to the songs on ‘Ah Here’.
Point in case is Everything To Everyone Else which opens with an over familiar folk beginning with hushed vocals before morphing into 70’s classic rock and psychedelic folk rock which closes in stirring fashion. Everything To Everyone Else represents a high point on ‘Ah Here’ but it’s not isolated. This ability to shift between tone is a defining factor on what makes ‘Ah Here’ work. Write It Down is like a rubix cube in starting position before it twists and turns into a far more complex variation. It ends abruptly leaving you wondering how it got to this point, but satisfied enough to go back and try figure it out.
The production veers on lo-fi side but the use of instrumentation is lush and when it all comes together such as on the crescendos on Tea it stirs the emotions which is what all great music should do. The River Fane have indicated that there will be an album potentially to follow in 2015 and on the strength of ‘Ah Here’ it ought to be one to anticipate.