“It’s a party and you’re invited / Got a reason, get excited / Come as you are!” announce Mad River in their new single and lyric video “Come As You Are” from the album Love Grows. Much as the title of their latest LP would imply, Mad River are giving up nothing but wholehearted emotion in this track (and making it perfectly clear to the critics what their identity as a group is). “Come As You Are” might share its name with a grunge song by Nirvana, but that’s where the similarities between the two singles end. Rather than swiping at the sunshine with a cloudy demeanor, this band is taking to the brighter days ahead and reminding all of us that worries are meant to be forgotten every now and then.
Though it’s not really a ballad, “Come As You Are” has a very romantic feel to its narrative, as though it were proud to be as vulnerable in tone as it is. There’s so much honesty in the harmonies here that it’s at times difficult to follow where the whim of the lyrics will take us next – though, I must say, it doesn’t really matter in the end. Mad River have created a song in “Come As You Are” that doesn’t need a face value interpretation to make sense to the masses; buried within the detailed swing of the percussion in this track is a fun-loving sensibility that anyone with a pulse can connect with.
I haven’t been very impressed with what I’ve been hearing out of the mainstream in the last couple of months, but as far as the underground goes, acts like Mad River are definitely keeping me intrigued by the new music scene in 2020. This band isn’t trying to be anything other than a cut and dry folk-rock syndicate, and though they’re just now making their way into the American eye, I don’t think they sound too concerned with toppling the charts anytime soon. They appear to be in this for the right reasons – the music, and moreover, what it can do for the world – and these days, that alone makes them a group you should be following.