Some relationships are so easy that you fall into them without any issues while others are packed with conflict. These tumultuous relationships are the foundation of ‘War’ the single from River Iris. Through the moody music, you are drawn into the thoughts of someone in such a relationship who can’t help but wonder why everything has to be so hard.
The single was co-written with Jess Cates and is the third from Iris’ debut EP. Drawing on her formal vocal training and studies at UC Berkeley, she inundates you with an edgy and moody soundscape. As she creates songs that connect with listeners, she opens something of herself up to anyone who wants to hear her.
‘War’ thrums against your senses like rain pattering down on a tin roof. The gentle pulling tones of the opening combine with an almost ambient haze in the lower levels of the track. There is an elegant flow to the lower levels of the melody that wash over you. The light moody flow of the music is a little at odds with the lyrics and messaging of the track. There is a soft misty feeling to the melody that makes you think of pastel colours and soft furnishings that you can sink into. This contrast in melody and lyrics actually works really well with the musing structure of the lyrics.
Iris’ vocals compliment the soft feeling of the melody as she lightly breezes over your ears. There is a wispy feeling to her performance that gently drifts through you only to pulse with power later in the track. On the verses, she acknowledges the destructive pattern of the relationship while wondering why it’s like this. On the chorus, she continues this questioning but there is a light sense to it. This changes later in the track as her voice gains power as she questions the relationship and why everything has to be a war.
River Iris uses a light yet moody soundscape to question a tumultuous relationship in ‘War’. The softness of the melody is at odds with the messaging of the lyrics but is perfectly complemented by her vocal performance. Through the soft questioning of the track, you are filled with the thoughts of the narrative and wondering of someone aware of the bad situation they are in.