Run River North, a band whose self-titled debut exemplified many of the best elements of folk-rock, have burst onto a new scene with “Run or Hide,” the first single off of their February 26th release, Drinking from a Salt Pond.
Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Run River North know firsthand what it is like to be the self-perceived needle in a haystack. As one of the multitude of musical groups vying for attention in a crowded L.A. market, RRN (formerly Monsters Calling Home) garnered a following by embracing the unconventional. From shooting a video for their song “Fight to Keep” in several of the band member’s Hondas (landing them a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live), to lead singer Alex Hwang’s candid, story-like songwriting, to the group’s shared Korean-American heritage that permeates their music, RRN have won over listeners (including label Nettwerk Records) through a combination of charm, admirable determination, and admittedly, a touch of luck.
On the heels of a successful debut, Run River North seemed poised to release another collection of folk-inspired musings, but time spent in Long Beach with new producer Lars Stalfors (Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim) instead unearthed a brand new manifestation of the band’s sound. “Run or Hide,” an emotionally charged meditation on the instinctual fight-or-flight response, shows RRN exploring the carnal underpinnings of day-to-day life. This lyrical change is accompanied appropriately by an equally stark shift in musical tone and intensity, fashioning a home for Hwang’s visceral cries. At first glance, this uncharted territory does not appear foreign, which is undoubtedly a testament to the group’s versatility.
As a foray into the increasingly popular alternative-rock genre, “Run or Hide” offers Run River North a second opportunity to distinguish themselves amongst a crowd of worthy challengers. Sporting a track record of convictions held fast, RRN should continue to win over new and existing fans as they ascend alongside their compelling brand of art—whichever genres it may choose to embody in the future. / – Ian Ihde
YouTube: Run River North