There are times when we try to do something that goes against our character and end up feeling disappointed. This is what Erika Severyns highlights in her single ‘River Water’ which was written during lockdown last year. While trying to get over a breakup, she took to dating apps looking for a casual fling. Realising that this is not the person she is, she spent the next month disappointed before writing this track.
With tender and heartfelt lyrics, she creates a vulnerable conversation about life. To create this tender folk song, she has teamed up with Sam Creer (cello) who recorded his parts on the Isle of Man while her vocals were recorded in her bedroom in Belgium.
The gentle guitar line pulls you into the opening of ‘River Water’. There is a flowing feeling to the music that you float. The organic feeling of the acoustic guitar helps to create an intimate soundscape for a conversation. The arrangement of the music brings jumping emotions to life. The cello softly swells in the background for a layered melody in the second half of the track. While the music is just the guitar and cello, there is a warm feeling to the arrangement.
Resting over the music is Severyns vocals which draw you into her inner thoughts. The lyrics are an interesting mixture of her thoughts and the details of what is happening. This creates a wonderful three-dimensional story that is easy to connect with. The folky vibes of the vocals are so easy to fall into as you get lost in the story of the track. Through the rise and fall of her performance, Severyns fills you with the emotions of the track. At times you are washed in the intimacy of a relationship only to dip into the disappointment of everything being casual.
Erika Severyns uses a layered yet minimalistic melodic approach to deal with vulnerability and disappointment in ‘River Water’. As the melody draws you into an intimate soundscape the lyrics offer a two-fold approach to the story. She offers you a peek into her inner thoughts while painting the picture of the situation that invoked them.