Six months is a long time in the music industry (Just ask Lana Del Rey); so when you hear that six-months ago The River and The Road were just forming as a band, plying their trade in a basement in Vancouver, and now they have released their self-titled debut album and sold out Vancouver's most prestigious venue, it probably won't surprise you. One listen the The River and the Road and you'll understand exactly why their rise to prominence has been so swift.

Though they currently call the bustling city of Vancouver their home, neither Phelan nor Lawlor (the band's only two full-time members) are from the city originally. Phelan draws his influences from the Blue Mountains of Australia, and Lawlor, the wild and rugged environments which lie north of Van City. These environments are elemental in the band's haunting folk/americana sound.

The album's opening track 'The Patron' greets the listener's ears with the intricate banjo finger-picking which features so heavily across the The River and the Road's 12 songs. Toeing the line between folk and country, the listener is never allowed to become too comfortable and settled in the band's sound and the three tracks which follow ('Shaking Leaf', 'Elizabeth' and 'Blueprint') demonstrate this ability brilliantly. On 'Straw, Brick and Wood', the band really hit their stride, with pounding drum solos and infectious pop melodies.

This momentum stops with the abrupt drum strike which marks the album's stand out track 'Rose Bay', a tender confessional about a long-distance relationship. Phelan delivers the line 'Will you keep me warm when I sleep?' with a heartfelt-honesty which is particularly affecting as a listener. This marks the start of a more down-tempo country section of the album; rich with songs of love and loss. 'Too Much' sounds like an gold-rush era American drinking song in the best possible way. The album ends with the track 'Strangers In Our Sleep'; a finger-picked ballad, reminiscent of McCartney's timeless 'Blackbird'.

What The River and the Road have accomplished in their short duration is particularly impressive as this album has the composure, polish and craft of a band who have been plying their trade for a much more substantial period. With this momentum behind them, one feels that it won't be long before they break the comfort of the local music scene and join the ranks of bands such as Dry the River and The Head and the Heart as recognised troubadours of the Americana scene.