Premiere: Swept Up in The Traditionist’s Metaphorically Sound “MidRiver”

The Traditionist © 2018
The Traditionist © 2018
The Traditionist’s new song “MidRiver” will leave you feeling a little less alone as you navigate the muddy waters of life.

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The ups and downs of the routine that makes up our lives can often feel like a flowing river. Sometimes it’s calm and smooth, while other times there are bumps and rocks shaking up our path, forcing us to take a new direction, but nevertheless, we’re always moving forward. The Traditionist’s “MidRiver” utilizes this metaphor to dive into the difficulties of life – figuring out if all you’re doing is right or wrong, the troubles of overthinking, and how at the end of the day, all we can do is move forward.

Listen: “MidRiver” – The Traditionist
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Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “MidRiver,” the lead single off The Traditionist’s upcoming sophomore album, Narratives (out later this year via Portland-based Dutch Records). An assembly of guitars, from bass to electric to classically stringed, make up the vibrant rhythm section of this bluesy folk track. Meanwhile, keys and guitar licks intermittently pounce in to add some peaks and valleys to the metaphorically driven, beautiful song. “MidRiver” starts off with that beating acoustic guitar, telling its folksy story right off the bat. The singer’s clean-cut vocals (with a dash of rasp) enter, accompanied by a hue of harmony:

I was born with a change of heart
I got out before I could start
I saw for a million miles
All the smiles were there for a while
Now I’m wandering the streets like a wave
I look back only when I can’t stay
And I move like a man, like a child
I got in when it was out of style

The first verse sets up the scene of being “MidRiver” – sort of like being in the middle of line, unsure where it’s going, but knowing you have to persist forward. Sometimes things come to a halt; sometimes they’re easy, sometimes they’re as peaceful as being in the middle of a river. The chorus brings the metaphor to life:

Now I’m mid river down
I got tears on my crown
And I know when I’m not around
I’m mid river born
like I’d been there before
Like I’d been, I’d been there before
Narratives - The Traditionist
Narratives – The Traditionist

Joey Barro, the mastermind behind The Traditionist, puts it best when describing his new song: “MidRiver was written loosely from the perspective of water itself. Originally I just liked the concept of being mid-river- it felt peaceful and dreamy, and sounded cool to me. Then the first line happened, and I decided to adopt the concept of water having a heart- moving where it needs to, affecting what it does, and having emotions that reveal a certain sadness when it’s gone and not around anymore, but also moving with this hopeful persistence forward without regret.” A lovely description of how the concept came to be. The song continues before breaking down to the bridge, where the music simplifies, allowing the lyrics to be as powerful as they can be in their last breaths,

And my mid river’s the same as yours
All intention and no remorse
And the pinwheels all line the shore
They’re all waving to me back and forth

The chorus plays through one more time – tying up our journey, leaving us feeling just a little less alone, knowing we are all “MidRiver” at some point or another. Perhaps the point is that we are all always midriver – and all that matters is that we move forward.

And I’m living in a dream like that
My nature is to break before I crack
I strike before I light the match
And I fight like I stand a chance

Stream The Traditionist’s “MidRiver” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more as he gears up to release his first album in nearly a decade!

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Narratives - The Traditionist

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