The debut disc Just Rivers from Toronto indie folk/country/rock (yes, they can be classed as all three) clan Beams, is like that cup of hot chocolate that you reach for when you are in the mood for a sweet treat. Light and sweet is just the way to describe the pretty blending of vocals by lead singer and banjo player Anna Mernieks, with those of long-time friend and band mate Heather Mazhar. The rest of the band, consisting of Mernieks drummer and partner Mike Duffield, Dave Hamilton on mandolin, Craig Moffatt on bass, Martin Crawford on lap steel and Keith Hamilton who plays something interesting called a musical saw, combine their colourful instruments to convey their unique sound. Mernieks weaves her personal life experiences into the song writing on Just Rivers resulting in a lovely album of meaningful storytelling and energetic rhythms.
The hauntingly beautiful “Be My Brother” is the opening track to the 12-set disc, with several songs to follow that will certainly grab your ear’s attention. “Sun Wraps Round” is an upbeat, chirpy tune that reminds me of a warm summer’s day, while “Picture this” will make you want to kick up your feet. Also check out their fantastic cover of Portishead’s “Glorybox.”
The band is currently set to tour with an upcoming date at 3030 Dundas West (The 3030) on November 7, 2014.
Charmaine Elizabeth Merchant (Facebook @elizabethcharms)
Album Review: Beams – Just Rivers
Charmaine Elizabeth Merchant