River Tiber Stretches His Sonic Palette Far and Wide on 'Indigo'
Published Jun 22, 2016"Indigo is a culmination of a lot of different things I was hearing and channelling over the time that I was making it," River Tiber tells Exclaim! of his debut album.
The Toronto producer/vocalist, born Tommy Paxton-Beesley, is known for creating music solo, and on this first full-length effort, he hones his musical palette as an alt-R&B multi-instrumentalist, but has grown his vision through collaborations with the likes of Pusha T, Kaytranada and Jazz Cartier.
"It's very instinctual, the way that I make music. I wouldn't say that I started out with a very singular, straightforward concept for the whole album — it's a lot of different pieces of my life, and a lot of different influences, I just put them together and tried to create a world with it. Some of it is kind of philosophical and it's from all over the place."
While River Tiber has spent much of the last year on the road in North America and Europe, sharing various works in progress as he went, Indigo is the culmination of his explorations.
"I've been really refining my sound over time. I'd say this is the most fully realized, honed-in version so far. But I'd also say I've been working nonstop since completing the album and taking it further. I'm always thinking about what's next."
Indigo is an introspective, hazy listen. It's full of themes on ego, motivation and love. Sonically, the record is downtempo with swelling production, crooning vocals, and intricate guitar and cello instrumentation.
"Musically, there's such a strong theme and there are certain sounds that I've tried to hone in over time. Like the guitar tones I use — it's taken a while for me to hone in on exactly what I want it to sound like, and now I've just kind of created a vocabulary of sounds I really, really like and it makes up my identity as a producer. It's kind of my palette."
River Tiber teamed up with up-and-coming vocalists Daniel Caesar and Tess Parks, while producer Frank Dukes and instrumentalist David Lewis make more subtle assists in the record's delicate backdrops.
"I write all my lyrics and vocals on my own, but in terms of the music, I collaborated with a lot of people. I produced everything, but I really tried to make it a fam affair. I definitely vibed with a lot of people, coming up with ideas and honing ideas, and I think that's actually one of the big things this album has as opposed to my earlier work, which was literally just me. This one was almost that, but I really tried to bring in more of my surroundings."
He adds that from a producer's standpoint Indigo is his best work. "Definitely finishing a body of work like this gives me confidence in my own voice and gives me confidence that I can step in the studio with whoever and have something to say."
Check out the video for "West" featuring Daniel Caesar below.
Indigo arrives Friday (June 24).