Swinging with a casual beat that evolves into something capable of relaxing even the tensest of moods, Mad River’s “Come As You Are” is definitely a single defined as much by its tonality as it is its tenacious sway. Folk/rock has been making a big comeback in general lately, but even if it weren’t, my gut tells me that this band would still be generating a little bit of buzz on the left side of the dial with tracks like this most recent release. Sporting a harmony that wraps around the audience like a coiling snake only to wash us in some of the more textured melodies you’ll come across in this genre right now, “Come As You Are” is a party-starting tune that almost anyone can get into.
I really love the subtle string play in the backdrop of the lead vocal, and among the minor intricacies in the mix, the guitars are probably my favorite element. There are moments in which it feels like we’re listening to some sort of organized pop/rock symphony as we’re led into the chorus of “Come As You Are,” and yet there’s never a moment where we’re forced to split our attention between multiple components. The instrumentation amalgamates to create quite a juggernaut of a force in this track, but even at their most intense, Mad River never give off an overaggressive vibe.
If “Come As You Are” is setting forth a standard that Mad River are going to live up to from here on out, there should be no doubts as to whether or not they’ll have staying power in their scene moving forward. There are a lot of really intriguing acts coming out of the Canadian underground this summer, but of those that I’ve had the opportunity to break down, this is definitely one of the more mature and concise. Mad River aren’t finished growing into their own, but as long as they can continue to produce material as well-rounded as this recent studio effort is, I think they’re going to establish an audience for themselves both at home and abroad.