Musicians Stuart Lunn and Lauren Molloy first chanced upon each other while playing their own individual sets at a gig in their hometown of Belfast. After hitting it off, the pair decided to join forces and wasted no time establishing a new identity as a singing/songwriting duo. Less than a month after their fateful meeting, they had already written and recorded four songs together and made their live debut as Chase the River.

Their self-titled EP is a splendid collection of folk tunes, illustrating that their decision to team up was an inspired one. It begins with the jubilant acoustic riff of “Need to be With You”, which captivates ahead of a stirring harmony. Fast paced and cutting throughout, this simple and striking composition gets things off to a strong start.

“2AM” opens with hushed guitars and soft but resonant vocals. Its haunting harmony enthralls continuously, being joined by some moving strings later on that help to emphasize the solemn and affecting nature of the piece. “4AM” feels like a very natural progression afterwards, remaining reserved and touching. Its gentle vocals and relaxing instrumentation allow it a very soothing sound.

“The First Time” takes off via an energetic riff that charges into a fervent duet. There’s a stripped down musical quality that still manages to be incredibly active and animated. Its irresistibly absorbing rhythm makes for a rousing listen.

The subtle instrumentation of “The Lies and the Crimes” plays behind a deeply affecting harmony next. It slowly grows to louder levels, generating a poignant ambience while staying consistently serene. It’s followed by the penetrating vocals that guide “Everything’s OK” into bright and cheerful guitars and a reassuring, merry melody. This wonderfully upbeat and optimistic offering puts an uplifting cap on the proceedings.

Chase the River prove that if you have the talent, you need no more than your voice and an acoustic guitar to create great music. These two artists perfectly complement each other, both vocally and instrumentally, which has resulted in six truly outstanding folk songs that are a pleasure to listen to. Head on over to Soundcloud now to experience their work for yourself.

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com