Early Musicrgirl40, Release Date: 17/3/2003
"State River Widening are thoroughly enjoyable and gloriously unpretentious." The Wire
"SRW scale somewhere between the intimate and the epic within their gorgeous, acoustic-led forays. Superb." Sleaze Nation
"SRW combine flickering guitars, luscious rhythms and bold musical strokes to deliciously hypnotic effect." NME
Early Music was the second album release from London based trio State River Widening.
State River Widening's core trio of, David Sheppard (all instruments), Keiron Phelan (all instruments) and Jon Steele (drums)\ began recording together in 1998. You could fill a book with the multitude of artists this threesome have worked with, but currently David Sheppard can be found plying his trade with Pete Astor in The Wisdom Of Harry (Matador) and Ellis Island Sound (Heavenly), whilst other like-minded musicians the three have played with over the years include David Grubbs, Adrian Borland and Piano Magic.
Released in late 1999, SRW's eponymous first album garnered rave reviews across the board for its essentially English response to the then burgeoning Chicago post rock scene. Early Music sees the band refining their sound further still, it's the kind of album that could be as easily found in your local record shop nestling beside the likes of Boards Of Canada, Isan or Fourtet as it could filed alongside Brian Eno, Penguin Cafe Orchestra or Van Dyke Parks.
As the title indicates, Early Music plots a course of regression rather than progression, from the delighted children’s' screams that open first track New Title, through to the bare, percussive heartbeat of final track Softscene, here is an album that transports the listener to a womb-like serenity. Whilst SRW's first record suggested itself as the perfect, imaginary cinematic soundtrack, Early Music presents itself as a far more personal work tugging at the heart strings whilst easing the mind - Early Music is more like a soundtrack for the soul.