Desert Sound Colony’s “Riverbed”

Today’s second post concerns British outfit Desert Sound Colony, and their psychedelic sliver of electro-acoustic chill-down melody “Riverbed.”

I caught this one while knee-deep in this week’s Super Bowl project – I do freelance creation of adverts on the side – and was instantly captivated by it’s kaleidoscopic wonders. It’s a fairly lo-fi track. And at the time, I was handling a particularly hectic work dilemma. This track appeared, worked its ambient magic and subdued the stress. It’s exactly why I roll with a backing soundtrack, whenever possible.

“Riverbed” mostly flows with an acoustic lick that keeps the whole number afloat for two thirds of its runtime. It features spacious soft vocals, clear and dreamlike, filtered in a relaxed psychedelic haze of echo chamber folklore. When the delayed rhythm kicks in, it’s a welcome percussive boost, organically progressive, open-ended and atmospheric, propelled by low-key groove-centric momentum.

Desert Sound Colony is essentially Londoner Liam Wachs. In the early years, when “Riverbed” debuted, DSC functioned as a three-piece, exploring the warmer naturalistic tones of electro-acoustic psychedelic craft. Since then, Wachs has downsized to soloist, steering the tone towards beat-centric danceable shores. In all honesty, I haven’t given these later efforts a thorough listen. But a quick run through suggests the psychedelic quality remains innately keyed into the DSC DNA, just not quite as prominent, nor nearly as dominant.

Since “Riverbed” is my introduction to DSC, I think I’m always going to gravitate towards these prior years … at least for the immediate future. Sure, I’ll check out the later work, when I get a free moment and the timing’s right. I’d like to give it the attention it deserves.

But until then, enjoy the mind-chilling tranquility of Desert Sound Colony’s “Riverbed.” And if you do happen to be interested in Wachs’ more recent electronic-leaning efforts, check out DSC’s Soundcloud page here.


“Riverbed” from the 2015 EP “Cracks.”