Oakview
Photo: Bert White

Music Premiere: Red River Hymn Releases Outstanding ‘Oakview’

Nashville-based alt-rock outfit Red River Hymn introduces their new EP, Oakview. Produced, mixed, and engineered by Britton Deuel, along with assistant engineer, Jesse Lavigne, the EP was mastered by Alex Saltz at APS Mastering.

Talking about the EP, frontman Patton Hughes shares, “‘Oakview’ is about the growing pains of your late 20’s; the constant comparisons, the awkward transitions, the management of personal relationships, and the losses that follow. It’s my personal manifestation of these anxieties that blend my experiences along with those I’ve observed around me. It’s not necessarily a concept album, as far as narrative goes, but there is a definite through-line that connects each song’s particular experience to the overall theme. Sonically, as a band, we wanted to keep that same cohesive tissue and expound on it by expanding our sound and style to match the energy of each song. Making the album was a cathartic experience and we believe that it will be evident for any listener willing to go on that journey with us.”

Self-described as a “Sad Southern Rock” group, Red River Hymn was formed in 2016, put together by Patton Hughes after leaving his former label. Enlisting guitarist Joe Shotts, along with a rhythm section, the band released their debut album, Kudzu, followed by replacing departing members with Jonathan Mason (bass) and Harris Owens (drums).

Encompassing six tracks, entry points on Oakview include “L’Anguille,” a driving tune featuring dirty, shimmering guitars and raw, potent percussion. Patton’s voice, brimming with rasping timbres, gives the lyrics urgent intensity.

“Divorce Party” travels on rumbling drums topped by chugging guitars as Patton’s deluxe tones, vaguely reminiscent of Eddie Vedder, imbue the lyrics with exotic-flavored, serrated nuances. While “Catalyst” rolls out on dark Southern Rock textures, as if Pearl Jam decided to cover The Black Crowes. There’s a luscious viscous feel to this song, at once oozing and tantalizing and dreamy.

Initially low-slung and gleaming, “Mangled Pew” slowly builds in resonance, until it reaches pre-climax – a dazzling, blistering guitar solo, followed by the climax – Patton’s deliciously mounting voice.

Simultaneously innovative and audaciously alluring, Oakview offers grand alt-rock laced with polished arcs of seductive Southern Rock.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.