As New Yorkers, we know busy, and we certainly know chaos. Whether we are commuting to and from work on the crowded subway or hustling through the streets flooded with umbrellas and basketball-sized raindrops, sometimes we all need to find a way to check out and relax. If you are anything like me, it is likely that you might find that outlet in the form of a song. If anyone can relate to that feeling, you should do yourself a favor and listen to Saul Rivers’ new track and delight in the accompanying music video, premiering with Pancakes and Whiskey, “Couldn’t Do It Alone.”

River’s soulful voice is immediately calming as he takes us on a journey, with his acoustic guitar in hand, through his childhood home. In the video, we see Rivers’ finding old pictures and toys in a room full of boxes. We have all been there, right? Cue: nostalgia. The late day sun pours through the window, setting the tone for the nostalgic, yet whimsical lyrics. Thankfully, the feeling of nostalgia is much more sweet than bitter when accompanied with Rivers’ beautifully pure falsetto, which comes out a few times throughout the song. The acoustic guitar leads the track’s instrumental orchestration with a bluesy feel that is both lovely and inviting. Rivers’ lyrics are sung like a bedtime story, “Once upon a time, a young boy was dreaming for a life of his own…” Rivers’ acknowledges the coveted “golden ticket” that Charlie searched for in order to fulfill his childhood dream of touring Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, which is quite representative of the journey Rivers’ details throughout the song. Rivers’ story teaches us to look within ourselves and return to our roots in order to ultimately reach our dreams. By the time the backing harmonies hit, and Rivers’ begins to light-heartedly goof around with his friend, I am predicting a smile will form on your face.

“Couldn’t Do It Alone” is Rivers’ beautiful homage and a “thank you” to everyone who has supported him on his journey. Rivers says, “Everyone knows it’s not easy to pursue a career in music, and I’m just very grateful to have had support along the way to continuously encourage me to pursue my passion for songwriting and performing.” With his childhood home recently sold, it is clear that Rivers’ feelings came out in the form of this song. This is the place where his love for music began, so this song and music video are certainly a tribute to the home and people that fostered his love for music, making him into who he is today. That sentiment is clear as you listen to his delivery of the lyrics.

Smooth, soulful crooner, Saul Rivers is exactly what you need in your life right now. Whether you are doing well and feeling great, down in the dumps and feeling low, or somewhere in between, Rivers’ new track “Couldn’t Do It Alone” will capture the essence of that mood. If you dig the superb talent that is Mr. Saul Rivers as much as I do, he is playing a show at Sofar Sounds on December 8th and again at Rockwood Music Hall on 1-19 (tix here). Additionally, keep your eyes and ears peeled for his upcoming, three-track EP, also entitled “Couldn’t Do It Alone.”


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Article: Alex Feigin



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