“Listen to the River” (btv110) LP/cd
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1. Threshing Floor (1:19)
A year after processing the deaths that lead to the Collection’s first full-length, Ars Moriendi, vocalist David Wimbish found his faith and courage left at the bottom of a spiritual well. Listen To The River is the story of the rope that he used to climb out, one whose strands were made of great writers from Rumi and Kahlil Gibran to Hermann Hesse and Lao Tse. The process that followed was a re-examination and re-orientation of both his spirituality and his marriage to member Mira Joy after mutually deciding to divorce last year, ultimately leading to an album created together, hoping to honor the past while accepting the present.
Listen To The River continues the Collection’s orchestral pop sound, influenced by bands like Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Anathallo, and Typhoon and borrowing from an Americana folk tradition with a wide range of traditional instrumentation. The album was recorded on a small farm in remote Sophia, NC by producer Stephen Price and later mixed by David Wimbish and Joshua Dorsett. For the recording, the band expanded on their instrument collection, adding in new textures of Rhodes, harp, vibraphone, and saxophone to the band’s already rich tapestry of instrumentation which has included an expansive array of horns and strings, clarinet, piano, mandolin, accordion, and the more traditional guitar, bass, and drums. While starting as an ambitious fifteen piece live band, the Collection has whittled down their lineup to a concentrated seven member band. The vast instrumentation on this new recording belies the band’s honed focus through extensive touring.
Wimbish’s lyrics reflect many of the pains experienced through the death of close family and friends and divorce and the re-examination of life that comes with that darkness. Wimbish is unwilling to accept traditional answers and firm viewpoints and sets off on his own questioning path blending thoughts from those influential writers, perhaps as evidenced by the track “Siddhartha (My Light Was A Ghost)” echoing Hesse’s classic. Or in “The Listener”: “All of my life, I’ve been asking the same things and I still don’t think I’m closer to an answer”
The Collection have toured extensively in support of their debut album through multiple tours. Leading up to the release of Listen to the River, the Collection toured much of the new music across the U.S. with their friends The Oh Hellos, and will soon follow up with a second leg of an album release tour.
Bio: It didn’t take long for David Wimbish’s solo project to become a full band. The community that had inspired his music quickly began to embody the songs, wielding instruments last played in middle school marching band, and fulfilling the Collection’s name. Coming from Greensboro, North Carolina, their songs stem from an awareness of their state’s folk roots, and an appreciation of orchestral and world music. After the loss of dear friends and family, the band released their first full length, Ars Moriendi, featuring over 25 musicians, and wrestling with questions of mortality and spirituality. As the last year has brought more focus to the Collection, both in size and in vision, they still retain original inspiration and muse – the community of those intrigued by the mystery of life.
“If you love an uplifting big band, The Collection is for you.” — Bob Boilen, NPR “Keep This Group On Your Radar … They’re Going Places” — The Aquarian
“It does sound like it wrings out Wimbish, though–as the primary voice of The Collection, he’s the one tasked with delivering the words that accompany all these tunes. His vocal styles are as diverse as the songs ask for: he whispers, sings, hollers, shouts and roars his way through the album. There are few vocalists as engaging as Wimbish: I don’t know if he’s going to break into falsetto or a terrifying roar at any given moment. It makes sense that Wimbish would collect an enormous number of instruments, because that seems like the only thing that could match the depth, disparity, and ferocity of his vocal stylings.” — Independent Clauses
“David Wimbish’s voice transmits passion at every moment and his inflection gives the already introspective lyrics a twist that forces you to pay attention not only to the words themselves, but to the manner in which he speaks them. His inflection, at times creating slant rhymes where none existed on before, or breaking with such force it seems like the last words he will ever utter, simultaneously infuses a sense of urgency and calmness, lending a layer of paradox to the album which only serves to make it even more fun to unpack.” — Indie Vision Music