Ancient River, the sonic brainchild of singer/songwriter James Barreto, is an ever-evolving source of rock n’ roll and psychedelia, its influences flowing from the swampy roots of the American south to the far reaches of space.
The band’s origins can be traced back the music scene in Gainesville, Florida and its thriving home grown DIY scene. Barreto began recording local bands, producing several albums as well as creating music for local independent films. His house soon grew into a fully-fledged home studio/rehearsal space, where like-minded musicians could be found tirelessly sharpening their wide range of sounds, encapsulating everything from noisy shoegaze and psychedelia to classic Americana.
Locked away in the pursuit of his sonic vision, it took two years for Barreto to take Ancient River to the stage, emerging with an unmistakable space-rock guitar sound and creating a captivating live show accompanied by entrancing psychedelic visuals. Playing live for the first time in 2009, Ancient River made their debut at Austin Psych Festival in 2010. Alex Cordova joined the line up in 2011 and the band quickly hit their stride on the live circuit, playing Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia and Austin Psych Festival for a second time in 2012. Appearances at Los Angeles’ Psycho De Mayo and Desert Stars Festival Pre-Party followed in 2014 along with Milwaukee Psych Fest in 2015. Upcoming appearances include Reverence Festival in Portugal and The Psychedelic Revolution Festival in France.
Stalwarts of the psych scene, Ancient River’s wall-of-sound barrage has been honed by extensive touring across the states and beyond. Currently James Barreto is living in London and Alex Cordova is based in Austin, Texas but this distance hasn’t impacted their productivity. The band are supporting the UK vinyl release of their sixth album ‘Keeper on the Dawn’ with a highly anticipated London show following a very successful extensive American tour.
Each of Ancient River’s eight releases represent a new and unique sonic journey. ‘Keeper of the Dawn’ is inspired by the Italian horror films of writer/director Dario Argento together with one of the duo’s favourite musicians, David Axelrod.
A pioneering and prolific act at their creative peak and still on the rise, Ancient River look to take their vision and unique sound to new heights in 2015. Let it flow!
“Hearing Ancient River‘s lush, expansive sound, it’s hard to imagine that it’s just two guys. Starting out as the bedroom brainchild of lead singer James Barreto, the Gainesville duo are getting ready to release their newest album Keeper of the Dawn. Taking cues from contemporaries like Temples and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, new single “This Is The Time” finds the duo in a magical haze. Washed-out drums and fuzz pedals do the trick, but the ringing reverb on Barreto’s rhythm guitar really gives the song shape.”
“With a healthy dose of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s more lysergic moments about them, the Florida psych-rockers specialise in woozy West Coast wig outs. Standout track ‘This Is The Time’ goes a step further too – recalling the Brian Jonestown Massacre with it’s drums and free-playing fretwork to create gentle, dreamy rock ‘n roll. Recent album ‘Keeper Of The Dawn’ is a mist that’s worth getting lost in”
“With a name like “Keeper Of The Dawn”, Ancient River has set all our expectations extremely high for their new release, and needless to say, those expectations have been met. Heavy on the reverb and chill on the vibes, “Keeper of The Dawn” sounds like the product of what would happen if Connan Mockasin had a recording session with The Doors.”
The Wild Honey Pie
“This Is The Time,” the first single off their soon-to-be released effort, Keeper of the Dawn is a trippy, lo-fi bit of psych rock comprised of guitars played through generous amounts of reverb, crashing cymbals paired with vocals that are deeply buried with a mix that sounds as though it were recorded on dusty analog in a similar fashion to Raccoon Fighter and countless others – but while possessing a cosmic glow that ripples and undulates towards the listener.”
Joy of Violent Movement
28 August – Reverence Festival – Valga Portugal
3 September – Pyschedelic Revolution Festival – Toulouse France