Now and then, a new artist debuts and instantly leaves a lasting impression. Such is the case with folk-rock six piece, Delta Rae. Their debut single, Bottom of the River, is something more than a song. This spellbinding ballad takes you on an emotional journey that simply must be experienced. With a sound that is both otherworldly, and deeply rooted in timeless southern folk sounds, the song weaves together a story of a witch hunt, full of powerful emotions and haunting imagery.
The song features a very unique sound that instantly sets the setting for the story. Located deep in the south, the song makes minimal use of instrumentals.Instead, we hear the sounds of the old south woven together in a sellbinding way that is sure to send shivers through your spine. There are no guitars, banjos, or organs as you might expect. Instead, the melody is delivered through rattling chains, a dramatic bass drums, and a hypnotic clapping and stomping beat. The sound is haunting, powerful, simple, and deeply chilling, working with the vocals to create something that truly overcomes the senses.
Lead singer Brittany Holljes possesses a deep and soulful voice that has such a rich and husky texture. Her voice starts as a soft and sensual plea, but soon comes to a full belt, pouring every bit of emotion into her performance. However, she isn’t the only capable vocalist in the group. The band’s three other vocalists harmonize perfectly, creating one voice that evokes just as much power and raw emotion as their lead singer. Together, they trade verses, creating a deeply stirring performance.
The group captivates from beginning to end with lyrics that hypnotize and enchant though vivid imagery. The story is set deep in the south, where the occult and the natural world meet. Beginning with the sounds of an old slave chant, it soon spirals out of control, taking on a life of its own. “Drunk and driven by the devil’s hunger/ Drive your son like a railroad spike/ Into the water, let it pull him under/ Don’t you lift him, let him drown alive.” How do lyrics like this not send shivers down your spine? The song enchants and hypnotizes like some wicked spell being cast.
Songs like Bottom of the River are few and far between. It has been a very long time since a song has managed to captivate and move quite like this one. Delta Rae has created a timeless song that speaks to the very heart of human emotion. I don’t want to say much about the song’s music video. Instead, I want you to see it for yourself. Its a fascinating experience that simply must be seen for yourself. Please, look it up on YouTube. Press play. I dare you.
Final Score: 5/5