Music / Premieres
Dodda Rivka - River of Stars
Words by James Lynch
Thursday 30th June, 2022
Back with a third taste of their upcoming debut record, Dodda Rivka have shared ‘River of Stars’ with us today, an impressive moment of rambling alt-country, glued together by Becky Salomons’ intoxicating vocal performance.
Following on from the release of ‘Oh Ruby’ and ‘People Are People’, Dodda Rivka have returned today with a third cut from their forthcoming debut full-length One For The Funeral before the album drops on Friday July 29th. Although the lead single was a slice of offbeat and nonchalant jangle-pop, ‘River of Stars’ seems to have more in common with the freak-folk rambles of ’People Are People’, picking up a similar alt-country swagger that showcases the band at its most sophisticated sounding yet.

With its expanded instrumental palette - featuring Joe Foley on slide guitar, Karen Standke on accordion plus Dodda Rivka’s usual suspects Becky Salomons, Dave McMillan and violinist Corinna Maule (plus backed by a chorus of Glen Innes birds) - ‘River of Stars’ is quick to take on a classic feel, more so than on other Dodda Rivka’s track. Perhaps that could also be attributed to Becky’s performance this time around; while the band conjure a rich backdrop behind her, her vocals steal the show, brimming with soul as they drifts over the instrumentation in a way that is both sorrowful and commanding. Cleverly, 'River of Stars' resists the urge to venture too far from its original atmosphere, enabling the track to unravel like a sprawling folk song, its storytelling only becoming more vivid and arresting as it goes.

Speaking about the song, Becky shares, “‘River of Stars’ is a hybrid of mythological references looking at the soul's journey beyond the body, the transformation that comes through the cycles of life, connection to space, nature and symbol’s. One of the many influence’s for the lyrics of the song was inspired by the Gay'Wu Group Of Women who’s book Song Spirals has a chapter named ‘River of Stars’. This is another name for the Milky Way and definitely the best one I’ve heard so far. This song is dedicated to the Gay'Wu Group Of Women.”

She continues, “Growing up on a farm in Langley Victoria I spent countless hours staring out at the Milky Way and pondering its magic and my smallness in relation. The bird songs welcome the morning and call in the twilight, they always seem present at times of transition, from the Raven to the Koel bird or even the Phoenix.  People seem to find connection with birds, death and the vastness of the night’s sky.”

'River of Stars' is out everywhere today, ahead of the release of Dodda Rivka's debut album One For The Funeral on Friday 29th July via Dinkum Records. You can catch Dodda Rivka at The Retreat Hotel with Surfer Girl and R. Potoroo on July 13th and at the Merri Creek Tavern with Dag on July 22nd.