In a few short years, River Tiber’s songwriting has become something prodigious. He emerged as a singular voice in an era that hammered the moody Toronto sound into a unique canon, and quickly grew into a widely-sought after collaborator for artists within and beyond the city’s limits.
On his sophomore album, Dreaming Eyes, the singer/songwriter is channeling new forces, and appears more clearly than ever before. As evidence, there’s a re-edit of his 2019 single “Taurus.” The song appears with pared down production and a more intimate and grounded affect, far from the cacophony of backing vocals of the previous version.
The turns of levity revealed throughout the album jump out, a stark difference from the haze that encapsulated Indigo. “Inside Out” sees Tiber deploying a familiar pitch modulation over the swirling outro. His chopped crooning unspools into a hypnotic rhythm floating across a meandering bassline like a mirage in a desert. Full of robust instrumentation, he’s at his best when stepping back and allowing the fluidity of the compositions to shine. And they do. The buzzy, bopping breakbeat on “Not Just Anyone” recalls the sunny, forward-thinking pop music of Stereolab to uplifting effect.
Dreaming Eyes finds Tiber relinquishing the dour anchors that held down his debut, but the richness and emotional heft remain.