Rika – How to Draw a River, Step by Step


I had a couple of drinks last night

Over the last year I really learned to love Austria. I used to drive through a very small bit of that lovely country every time I visited my grandparents with my family. But while for me the area around Bregenz, in the region of Vorarlberg was as much Austira, as any other part of it, I was told something different quite some years back. My old band and me were opening a hardcore show back at home. We shared the stage with an Austrian Youth-Crew-Band (I still have the t-shirt the guys gave me after the show) and we got chatting. They were from that area, but told me nobody else in Austria takes them as serious Austrians, because they are too close to Switzerland. Well, I had learned something new there.

So over the last year or so I have spent a couple of times in Vienna and dealing with the local music industry and scene over there. What struck me the first time around, was the sense of togetherness and the very helpful attitude down south. Everybody is doing their own thing, at the same time everyone is somehow linked together though. I can’t really tell you much about the music scene – if the fans are brilliant, if the ‘scene’ is only made up of band members or anything – as I haven’t spent enough in depth time there to really judge, but there is something going on. That’s for certain.
I have been a big fan of last year’s Giantree album. A peach of atmospheric indie music. I had the pleasure to see them live last year, and they were brilliant. Their album was released via Monkey Music, an indie from Vienna, and somewhat of an institution – they seem to have their finger in a lot of pies. Now one could draw the similarity between Giantree and Rika of course. Both Austrian, both playing a beautiful version of indie, both should definitely be given the opportunity to warm some foreign hearts to their music.

Rika

So why is there record so mesmerizing you might ask? Well, if you picture Austria as a country, what do you see? Do you see wide mountain landscapes? Do you picture green forests and big, quiet lakes? Exactly, that’s what I do. And that is basically how you can describe the sound of this perfectly produced record. Just add a sense of mozartesque-chique inner city houses and you are probably almost there. I mean, really, if you hang around in the woods, you might get a little dirty (departure). The lucious piano melodies, the toned down voice, the gentle plucking guitars remind me of Slut or the almighty Notwist at times. It also reminds me of simpler times, when everything was going a little slower, the summer was a little longer and coming home wasn’t too important. The album feels a bit like hanging out with your friends. That’s what makes it so worth listening to. Remember, your friends will always be there for you. And this album will definitely not be stabbing you in the back.

Stream it in full here.
Or order a copy at Goddamn Records (EU) or Count Your Lucky Stars (US)!

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