There's a certain kind of clarity - and comfort - that categories can offer. Defining a new artist by one style, rather than another, helps decipher them in some ways. But it can also prove restricting, which makes the impulse to forge and follow a new path all the more important.
London-hailing Americana artist Misty River has released a new music video for her single 'Walk Me to the River' which underscores that very message. The creation of singer/songwriter Carmen Phelan and producer Adam Morley, Misty River sings about the strength necessary to break away from what everyone else is doing.
"Felt those drums a beating, ringing out through the quiet/ Marched along as best I could, gave it all my might", River sings on the country-folk anthem, tinged with blues inflections.
Despite trying to not break from the crowd at first, River admits she eventually had to follow her own light: "But falling in line's not easy when your head's up in the clouds/ I shine my light as best I can, on this road you can't plan".
Watch the accompanying music video, premiering exclusively at Holler, below.
The daughter of an Irish father and a Trinidadian mother, Phelan spent her childhood in the UK and the US, both introducing her to foundational roots music that ultimately shaped her. But all of that movement meant she didn't slot easily into any one sound.
"Sometimes you find yourself surrounded by a whole bunch of people with a bunch of different opinions", Phelan told Holler. "I wrote 'Walk Me to the River' at a time of huge change in my life. The song is about having the confidence to do what you know is best for you, having the courage to follow your own light even when that leads you into uncharted territory".
River recorded the song at Eastcote Studios in London and finished it in Nashville, with six-time Grammy winner Vance Powell. The video was directed by Jed Welland and shows River singing in front of several screens that reflect her performance, as through she were lending herself support - another of the song's themes.
Phelan explained, "[The song is] also about togetherness, asking those that really matter to join alongside you on that journey".
'Walk Me to the River' is an invitation - to be and believe in yourself. The song is out on all streaming platforms now.