Rivulets – Thank You Reykjavik EP

Rivulets
Thank You Reykjavik EP

If you look up the word Rivulet in the dictionary, you will find out it is defined as a small brook or a stream. This image of solitude and tranquility is indeed a perfect match for the music that Rivulets makes. The name is simply a moniker for the solo work of Nathan Amundson, a talented singer songwriter who hails from Minneapolis, MN. The music itself is also reminiscent of the city on those cold Minneapolis winter nights, hitting the listener with a dark, lonely, and extremely cold form of beauty. Amundson, who originally released a self-titled full-length CD on the Chairkicker’s Union record label (owned and operated by Alan Sparhawk of Low) at the beginning of the year, is back with a four-song live EP. While it’s somewhat disappointing that all of the songs were previously released on the debut full-length, Amundson wanted to re-release them in their original format, making them as stripped down as possible. The full-length featured a substantial amount of production work from Mr. Sparhawk and his counterparts in Low, adding drones, backing vocals, drums, and additional instrumentation as needed.
The name of the album comes from an Icelandic radio station located in Reykjavik where Amundson performed live in March of 2001. The four songs on the record are some of my personal favorites from the previous full-length. All of the them have a similar feel by only consisting of lightly strummed or picked acoustic guitar in combination with breathy and haunting vocals. These include “Barreling…,” “Four Weeks,” “How, Who?,” and “Stead.” I felt the strongest connection and response to the first and the last songs on the EP. This is the kind of music that makes you want to crawl into bed on those dark and disturbing days when life has become way too complicated and stressful. Listening to the music will bring you places and take you back to the darker parts of your life you may not want to experience again. Amundson presents a record that is full of sincerity and honesty and that personally asks the listener to experience all of the pain and heartache Amundson has experienced in his own life.
If you’re unfamiliar with the music of Rivulets I would suggest first picking up the debut full-length on Chairkicker’s Union. I have yet to see Rivulets live, but I did hear him perform on Minneapolis college radio and was quite impressed. If you already own the full-length and are looking for a different twist or spin on some of those songs, making them even more depressing and darker, then this is definitely the EP to pick up.