There's always a hint of sorrow to Red River Dialect, a feeling of unworthiness in the face of beauty, an existential bleating set to lushly orchestrated folk music. David Morris leads the London-based band (which has roots in Cornwall), and its last album, Tender Gold And Gentle Blue, ushered in a quietude befitting the title — it was a personal favorite of that year.
While touring with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg in the U.K., Morris says he found a new energy after "waves of sad-joy": "I was learning how to feel perky and how to ride on the wind; the one that is called lungta in Tibetan (and is also a horse)," Morris writes in a press release. "I looked for this energy in chords, rhythms and words."
Broken Stay Open Sky, due in February, is the result, and its first single already feels like a burden lifted — or at least seen and understood from another angle. Named for the mahasiddha who embodied compassion by steadfastly feeding and caring for a dog — even while tempted by heavenly pleasures — the band stretches out a rhapsodic melody like a ribbon chasing the wind, the fabric undulating over a thumping drone of violin and low-lying guitars. "Kukkuripa" radiates a beaming light through Red River Dialect's delicate ornamentation — you can almost hear a smile at the edges of David Morris' Cornish quiver as he sings, "I see Kukkuripa in the pixels you show / And I see your heart / You drive through the snow / Careful yet bold."