Poetically dancing together like lovers reunited after an extended absence, we find the string section in Foundry Town Survivors’ “Mississippi Rising” led by a singular mandolin, carrying forth a melody that makes it quite easy to get lost in the band’s simplistic, charismatically American sound. There are no frills nor fortune-seeking experiments to behold in this piece – only the bread-and-butter harmonies of a prolifically homespun act who sound more than ready to ascend from the underground to the mainstream a lot sooner than some of their competition would like to see happen. “Mississippi Rising” is quite the introduction to this group, to say the least.
The harmony between vocals and virtuous string play in this piece is essential to our appreciating the sentimentality of the lyricism in the song, which is by far reason enough to give it a dedicated listen this September. There’s such plaintive but powerful synchronicity between the musicians in this mix that it’s easy to understand where they wouldn’t need a lot of rehearsal to sit down and pen something amazing together, such as they did for “Mississippi Rising.” You can’t fake the chemistry, nor the kinship they most definitely share with each other and this medium.
Foundry Town Survivors’ music video for this track has a painfully somber feel to its thanks to the black and white aesthetics of the visuals, but I wouldn’t say it exclusively dwells in the murkiness of elegiac poeticisms with its cosmetic approach. There’s a rusticity in the B&W element here that only amplifies the pastoral, unforced charm of the harmony as noted earlier in this review, and one could argue that it wouldn’t be as noticeable in a video setting without having an artistic backing in the style of the imagery we encounter in this instance.
“Mississippi Rising” offers us a striking lyrical depth both humanized by the manner of delivery the band utilizes here as well as made authentic by the tone in which its verses are arranged beside the music. Foundry Town Survivors seem out to prove that you can keep your songcraft on the simpler side of the spectrum while still encapsulating a great deal of emotion in your content, and from where I sit as a critic and a fan of alternative music, theirs is as straightforward a depiction of this balance as anyone could have hoped to hear this autumn.
I’m addicted to this song and its overall design at the moment, and I don’t think you need to give “Mississippi Rising” more than a casual listening session to understand why I am. There’s a lot of interesting singer-songwriter/folk-rock coming out of the woodwork in the underground right now, but this is a track that while feeling somewhat under the umbrella of the movement is still very much the product of its creators’ unaligned originality. The heart behind the lyrics is unmissable and the talent in the delivery is impossible for a critic like myself to ignore, and I hope to hear more material like this from Foundry Town Survivors soon.
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