TVD Premiere: Oh, Be Clever, “River”

Oh, Be Clever’s latest electro epic is a majestic song about overcoming (sometimes potentially self-made) adversity—and we’re pleased to debut it today along with its free download.

“This song is about seeking validation in all the wrong places,” said Brittney Shields, the band’s singer and lyricist. She expounds on this theme over a booming production orchestrated in tandem with the duo’s other member, Cory Scott Layton. A long outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, Shields is refreshingly open and honest about feelings of depression and anxiety. “When we wrote this I was very insecure. I’d do almost anything to get someone to like me. It’s about the feeling you get when you come to terms your flaws and let go of the baggage holding you back.”

While it was from this place that Shields began composing the words of “River,” she did not want to limit its import with a narrative arc, or worse, with an explicit declaration of meaning. She noted that the song starts from a premise, “River is about accepting your flaws and living happily with them.” The band, however, invites the listener to exercise her own interpretive prerogative. “There are a million different ways a person could interpret this song, and that’s kind of the way we want to keep it. Leave it up to your own life experience and the way you relate to it.”

This feels appropriate. The members of Oh, Be Clever have a band, because of their ability to persevere in the face of conflict. Once member of bitter rival bands in Salt Lake City, Utah, the two absconded together when an actual fist fight broke out between their former groups.

Not even that night elapsed before they informed their former band mates that they would not be returning. So Oh, Be Clever was formed and jumped in the river, to float on down it, and see where it would take them.

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