Thanksgiving The River

Thanksgiving's best gift as a songwriter is his careful judgement. Like a genius kid playing with Knex, he starts with a simple blueprint in mind and builds as moderately as possible in order to create truest to form. Guitar and vocals are the only constant throughout The River, while multi-instrumental flourishes (banjo, accordion and melodica to name a few) decorate the bare song writing. Thanksgiving is the alias of 19-year-old Adrian Orange, who is beginning to win some acclaim as the protégé of the Microphones' Phil Elvrum. Orange is heading down a well-trodden path, trail-blazed by the likes of Smog, Will Oldham and the Microphones, but he has his own stride, and a natural predilection for song craft — he started writing and performing with the band Menagerie at the age of ten. His music is calm, quiet and profound. The opening track starts slow, and soon bursts with a banjo solo powerful enough to bring tears to one's eyes. This sets the precedent for the rest of the album: The River lulls and flows serenely, and its sporadic bursts of emotion are all the more moving by contrast. Though comparisons abound, The River is not just a display of potential, but a good album in and of itself. Orange has already found his footing as an original songwriter, and it's no stretch to say that within a few albums his talent will shine as much as the musicians he has been compared to. (Hive Fidelity)