Coming in slow and steady with a gentle indie serenade, we have “Little River” by Jacob Wright. His recipe is full of thoughtful lyrics, minimal instrumentation, and the right dose of feel-good melody; let’s not forget the harrowing Americana howl that prances through the chorus.
Honestly, it’s hard not to feel something. Although the theme is somewhat ambiguous, I got a subtle tip about the nature of the song that really makes everything fall into place. Read on, bundle up, listen, and enjoy.
Love is hard.
Failed love is even harder.
I had a little trouble coming up with a good title for this review. I hate simple titles. Then I realized, what’s more, complicated than a love story?
There are few songwriters who haven’t pricked themselves on the hooked sickle of heartbreak. We’ve all been there at some point, feeling like the entire world below our feet isn’t holding us up anymore. The ground that was always there to keep our footing and bring a sense of stability to our daily lives disappears. Like a black hole on the edge of reality, small little pieces vanish with it. Jacob Wright wrote this song when he was experiencing a very difficult breakup.
“Should I harvest all the diamonds I can gather, babe it’s you I’m coming after”
According to Wright, the line above is a promise he made to himself to cope with some rocky times after a failed relationship. Coping strategies are personal. In times like these, sometimes it’s better to toss the compass and find your own way. While listening to “Little River”, I can feel and relate to what Wright went through. Still, some passages in the song appear cryptic because the figurative descriptions will forever be unique to him and his experience. It’s almost like a lost language of heartache that only he can understand. For example, if you try to explain a broken heart to a friend over coffee, they’ll only understand the experience, but not the nuances of how deep the wound travels. Oftentimes, it branches off like an arc of lightning, and that’s what I envision when I listen to “Little River”. It’s the tip of the iceberg. The unique experience will forever remain in his court.
We will never fully know, in prose or regular speech, what Wright experienced; however, his music gets a lot of things across. Just like any artistic outlet, I think Wright expressed a lot. To understand more of the story, we really need to listen to everything beyond the lyrics. Wright started with a looped melody and built the rest of the song from there. Rhythmically speaking, the only beacon is a soft snare drum (it’s really nice to hear not written in 4/4). Additionally, Wright gives us light acoustic motifs, piano, and tasteful strings. I was really impressed because many songwriters make the mistake of having too many of one thing. Wright took it easy and put together a nice balance of everything. Songwriters and producers, take note.
Word has it, Jacob Wright has a 13 track album on the way. We’re looking forward to seeing what else he has to share!
Follow him on Instagram: jacobwrightmusic