Sometimes you stumble into a new artist and something just sounds too familiar. The discovery weekly playlist on Spotify has done me more than a few favours, but I can honestly say I was not expecting this one. Halfway into “Let You Down” I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind that it sounded exactly like the lead singer of a band I grew up with, Silverstein.
After a quick Google search I ended up on the River Oaks site, where it wasn’t hard to confirm this as the side project for Silverstein lead singer Shane Told.
In the texts sent to friends imploring them check out this new discovery my initial explanation was that this felt like the slower Silverstein album that I had wanted for so long. Thoughtful lyrics and a heartfelt sound, this album focuses on the rich type of lyrical content that we have been seeing from Shane for years. The album falls into perfect alignment with where I am at now and what I have been listening to.
As a long time Silverstein fan and (as you will come to find) a big fan of band side projects, I would certainly recommend giving River Oaks a listen.
Shane talks on the River Oaks site about how this project has been “a long time in the making”, explaining how he put everything he had into crafting the project, “I wrote and played all the parts on these songs, vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, and even drums. I poured every ounce of my heart and soul into it.” It is pretty cool to learn that this is a passion project and something he is deeply invested into. His site, which I highly suggest checking out, also features some great photography done in Toronto and a music video for “Let You Down”.
This album is a great example of what amazing results can come from side projects of the artists we love. We get to hear Shane in a raw and emotion driven environment. There is no distraction from really appreciating his abilities and depth of the lyrics that he is delivering. What is amazing about this album is that it isn’t a huge departure from the music that I had come to expect from him. Slight genre shift, but nothing overly drastic, and that is perfect from where I am listening. I am glad that he didn’t feel the need to entirely reinvent himself in order to put out some well composed and really personal music.
My only disappointment was that there were only three songs, and I would like to hear much more (not really a bad problem to have, I am just impatient). I will be rooting for this album to do well for him so we can see more coming soon!
River Oaks is a must check out for all Silverstein fans, and definitely anyone looking to hear some really great music.
Have you heard it? Have a feeling about side projects? Let’s talk in the comments below!