Brightwell & Moran, a Portland-based folk-rock duo, released their new single "River Flow" – the first song from their upcoming third EP Land of Plenty. Produced by Dean Baskerville, the single is a deviation from their previous productions, with electric guitars taking the lead, although the duo's classic harmonies and jangly acoustic guitars remain. "River Flow" explores the concept of liberation that comes with letting go of struggle and expectations, as well as embracing where you are.
According to Kelly Brightwell, one half of the duo, the song was inspired by a 2019 Facebook post by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," which featured a "meander map" showing the various paths that the Mississippi River has taken over time. The map, coupled with Gilbert's musings, provided a more extensive and all-encompassing outlook, especially amid the pandemic. The duo found comfort in knowing that nature's forces are always shifting, and what we see is just a temporary manifestation of a more comprehensive reality. This realization also allowed them to accept and surrender to the flow of life.
As the song came to life during their Zoom sessions, Woody Moran, the other half of the duo, and Brightwell intertwined Gilbert's reflections with their own experiences of "Where do we go from here?" after their plans changed. "So we did what we had to do: after everything changes, flow river flow,” Brightwell said.
The single's release is just a taste of what's to come from the duo, with a new four-track EP scheduled to drop later this year. Baskerville will produce the EP, and if "River Flow" is any indication of what to expect, the EP will be a fantastic blend of electric and acoustic soundscapes that showcase Brightwell & Moran's growth as musicians. Keep an eye out for "River Flow" and Brightwell & Moran's upcoming EP, "Land of Plenty."
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