- Bryon Harris
Nico River & the Black Grass - 'Tidal Wave'
Nico Rivers & the Black Grass are an indie-rock/Americana group out of Boston. The band features Nico Rivers, a singer-songwriter out of Boston. From 2011 to the present, Nico released 3 EP's and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In 2016, he added a backing band and the group Nico Rivers & The Black Grass was formed. The band features Nico on guitar and vocals; Alex Giorgetti, guitar, vocals, Mellotron; Josh Strmic, drums, percussion; Matt Schairer, bass; and Emily Graham-Handley, vocals. The single, “Tidal Wave” from their upcoming EP, 'Tiny Death' is a stand-out example of the unique musical experience brought by Nico Rivers & the Black Grass.
"Tidal Wave" begins with some ambient synth-like sound effects which are soon accompanied by a guitar riff. After a brief intro, the vocals enter for the first verse singing, “I got me a mirror /but it told me lies /So I boarded the windows /and closed my eyes.” Nico's voice sits nicely above the mix with a clarity of tone that is never sacrificed as the song's arrangement grows. After these intriguing lyrics, the bass and percussion drop into the mix adding a nice groove. As the verse continues, the arrangement builds and, after the second section of the song, an epic jam is under way with wailing, distorted guitars and lush vocal harmonies.
Check out this video of Nico playing a more unplugged version of the song on acoustic guitar and suitcase (used for percussion).
In “Tidal Wave,” the group explores themes of transition and uncertainty. While they start painting the picture in the verses, they bring the theme together in the hook singing , “I bend just like the riverbed / I don't/know who I'll be tomorrow / You break like a tidal wave / Hold my breath and aim for the bottom.” Nico has done an excellent job with the lyrics, painting emotion with colorful descriptions.
With memorable melodies in the verses and chorus and instrumental breaks that are seriously engaging, Nico Rivers & the Black Grass create interesting music with an alternative edge that you will want to listen to multiple times - their sound is truly addictive and artistic. From the moment you hear “Tidal Wave,” you will be excited for their up-and-coming EP. For more information, visit their website.