Now Playing:

Arts & Life


After 'Waves Of Sad-Joy,' Red River Dialect's 'Kukkuripa' Radiates Light

Red River Dialect's Broken Stay Open Sky comes out Feb. 2.

Red River Dialect's Broken Stay Open Sky comes out Feb. 2.

Courtesy of the artist, Hannah Rose Whittle

There’s always a hint of sorrow to Red River Dialect, a feeling of unworthiness in the face of beauty, an existential bleating set to lushly orchestrated folk music. David Morris leads the London-based band (which has roots in Cornwall), and its last album, Tender Gold And Gentle Blue, ushered in a quietude befitting the title — it was a personal favorite of that year.

While touring with Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg in the U.K., Morris says he found a new energy after “waves of sad-joy”: “I was learning how to feel perky and how to ride on the wind; the one that is called lungta in Tibetan (and is also a horse),” Morris writes in a press release. “I looked for this energy in chords, rhythms and words.”

Broken Stay Open Sky, due in February, is the result, and its first single already feels like a burden lifted — or at least seen and understood from another angle. Named for the mahasiddha who embodied compassion by steadfastly feeding and caring for a dog — even while tempted by heavenly pleasures — the band stretches out a rhapsodic melody like a ribbon chasing the wind, the fabric undulating over a thumping drone of violin and low-lying guitars. “Kukkuripa” radiates a beaming light through Red River Dialect’s delicate ornamentation — you can almost hear a smile at the edges of David Morris’ Cornish quiver as he sings, “I see Kukkuripa in the pixels you show / And I see your heart / You drive through the snow / Careful yet bold.”

Broken Stay Open Sky comes out Feb. 2 via Paradise Of Bachelors (physical, digital).

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

More Arts & Life

More OPB