Wild Rivers

Wild Rivers

Tue · January 15, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The 9th Ward at Babeville

Buffalo, NY


Wild Rivers
Wild Rivers
The inviting harmonies of Wild Rivers provide a shimmering texture to the band’s new EP, Eighty-Eight.
However, dedicated fans know about the depth of Wild Rivers – from the alluring melodies that take
unexpected turns to the undercurrent of emotion in their tightly-crafted lyrics.
Wild Rivers is composed of Khalid Yassein (vocals, guitar), Devan Glover (vocals), Ben Labenski
(drums) and Andrew Oliver (guitar, bass). Over three years, the Toronto-based band has accrued more
than 25 million streams on Spotify, toured consistently across the U.S. and Canada, and earned a
reputation as a band that makes a powerful connection with listeners.
Leading up to the EP, the band members went into a basement studio for a month to flesh out songs and
ideas, make demos, and rehearse. With their creativity at its peak, the band then headed to Nashville for a
week of collaborations. The teamwork there paid off with two more songs, rounding out the five-song EP.
“A Week Ago,” a glistening pop song about the inevitable entanglement of romance and the road, opens
Eighty-Eight. Propelled by Glover’s vulnerable vocal and the strum of an acoustic guitar, “Howlin’”
conveys the challenges of chasing dreams, while “Call It a Night” follows an intimate relationship that’s
unraveling. The tasteful musicianship of Oliver and Labenksi underscores the drama of “You Can Side”
and the empowering “I Won’t Be Back” practically begs for a singalong.
“All the music that I truly love has really strong, purposeful melodies,” Yassein says. “I think it’s so
beautiful and intriguing when everything in a piece of music works to service the singular melody, the
sonic choices, arrangement, chords, and vibe come together to set the stage for the tune of the song to
shine. To me it’s kind of an old school idea that still rings true. If the melody isn’t great, there’s no
amount of dressing that can really take the song to that special place.”
That careful craftsmanship is apparent in the band’s 2016 self-titled debut album, as well as their 2017
single, “Do Right.” By keeping Eighty-Eight mostly acoustic, the band can bring the intimacy of the
studio to listening rooms, theaters and festival stages across North America.
Glover and Yassein first forged a musical relationship while attending college. As their live performances
started causing ripples on the local scene, they abandoned their career paths in psychology and biology,
respectively, to pursue their creative ambitions. Known early on as Devan & Khalid, the lineup grew to
encompass Labenski, who then suggested bringing Oliver into the fold.
The band collectively says, “While we converge on many of our favorite artists and genres, each band
member has a slightly different musical taste. We think this benefits us, as it allows us to draw from
different inspirations during the creative process, and bring forth ideas that can combine to become a
unique sound. Andrew grew up listening to hip-hop, Ben is into indie music, Khalid is inspired by many
classic singer-songwriters, and Devan is drawn to lots of pop and R&B.”
Venue Information:
The 9th Ward at Babeville
341 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY, 14202