Red River Dialect
Broken Stay Open Sky
Paradise of Bachelors
★★★★

There have been several times in my life where a moment becomes distinct and sometimes life changing. These moments—when I realized I wanted to be a writer, realizing the beat of a heart, finding the love of my life, my grandmother dying— you are transformed.

David Morris had a moment. His moment resulted in Broken Stay Open Sky. Tender Gold and Gentle Moon was a down point for Red River Dialect. Morris was going through some shit. Once these bouts of delusions and distractions subsided, his moment came. Morris explains:

“I was learning how to feel perky and how to ride on the wind; the one that is called lungta in Tibetan (and is also a horse). I looked for this energy in chords, rhythms and words. When my friend, the great songwriter Joan Shelley, invited me out on a UK tour to play an opening set, I recognised it as an opportunity to develop these new songs and to try them out at shows. A couple of them took shape before the tour, but most followed after. Hearing Joan, Nathan Salsburg and Glen Dentinger play and sing every night brought me many glimpses of the fresh genuineness I was seeking.”

Broken Stay Open Sky is that creative climb. A lush and gorgeous folk landscape of dusty notes and haunting visions of beauty and realism wrapped into one. The anticipation for an album like this is high. Do I love these notes or become scared of them? The way Morris’ vocals sway like a lazy sea shanty amongst the violins and piano. If Bruce Hornsby was found living an English life in a rustic pub out in the countryside of Cornwall, it would sound like “Open Sky (bell).” The traditional elements clank through beautiful storytelling.

Red River Dialect – Open Sky (bell)

I love how “Aery Thin” moves in slow motion. You have hints of ‘60s and early ‘70s folk with meandering psych flowing about. You can almost smell the scent of soil and moss hovering over salt water and driftwood run through the aura of Morris’ tones. The bravery of ignoring time works to their advantage. You become lost in this world.

“Gull Rock” is a song that ties to the cover image. A beacon of mystery pushed out at sea, the song is the most tumultuous of the album. Their discordance of notes crashing down on you keeps us in check.

There are demeanors in certain notes and motives that are not far from collapse. It shows us he understands we are never too far from heartache. But in this moment, Morris used a down time as a weapon. And in this, his vision is a beautiful exploration.

Categories: Reviews

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