When is a string band not a string band? When it takes even the most established progressive approaches — new grass, post-classical and hillbilly jazz, let alone indie folk — and scrambles and scrutinizes them, as River Whyless does on its adventurous 2016 album We All the Light. The Asheville, North Carolina band makes fiddle sound like theremin, guitar sound like sitar, harmonium sound like synth, banjo sound like piano, and voices sound like some ancient and intricate game of call-and-response. Yes, the group aims for atmosphere, but its percussive and harmonic streams carry the songs — the lyrics are tense and moving, too — and will sweep you away.
RIYL: Fleet Foxes more than Mumford and Sons. River Whyless focuses on harmonies and subtle improvisations and leaves clichéd stomp behind.
Watch the video for "All Day All Night" below:
8 p.m. Thursday, November 10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp. All ages: $12. 314-773- 3363.