RIVER TIBER, “Sent From Above”
Despite having the music scene all abuzz back in 2015-16 with his acclaimed album Indigo, working with Daniel Caesar at the inset of his soon-to-be-storied career, and being sampled (uncredited of course) on a Drake song, Toronto’s River Tiber has only released a half-dozen songs since that time. “Sent From Above” is his first release in a year, and like many songs in his repertoire, makes the best of us scratch our heads upon the first few listens. The artist otherwise known as Tommy Paxton-Beasley must have a whirlwind of influences in his head, as he taps into pre-rock era pop music, gospel, classical, and perhaps even 1930’s motion picture scores, which might form a shell of what the song covers musically. Lyrically, the song is sparse, with Tommy singing only a few repeated lines about a miraculous event, making it rely heavily on its piano melody and the lush harmonies. “Sent From Above” is certainly a unique record for these times. To me, it fits more in the “traditional pop” category rather than the past more progressive work of River Tiber, so I’m curious to find out what others who have enjoyed his work will think of it.