PINEWOOD – ‘Riverbank’

Close your eyes while you’re listening to ‘Riverbank’, by Pinewood, and perhaps like me you’ll find yourself by the river, laying back on the red and black checked wool blanket, sated by a much too large yet incredibly delicious picnic lunch. You soon find yourself floating along, whether it be in a boat or somehow along a light summer breeze; you speed up, some rapids below you – but nothing will mar this perfect day. The atmospheric folk tune is filled to capacity with a plethora of ethereal vocals, strings plucked tenderly, and a rhythm that mimics the ebb of the water.

Reminiscent somewhat of The Lumineers, ‘Riverbank’ is the latest offering from Pinewood, a musical project of Sam Kempe. A hugely talented songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Kempe moved to Athens, Georgia, in 2018, to start following his dreams of releasing music of his own, rather than playing session, or producing for others.

With ‘Pinewood’, Sam brings together all his musical influences and inspirations, and it’s perfection. He was brought up on folk-rock, and bluegrass, and it shows – the strummed guitars and turbulent drums, and the dynamically lit bass all work together in tight formation, producing a delicious underbelly for his sweet vocals. Additionally, there’s mandolin and banjo, which bring their folky sound with them. There’s a distinct melancholy to the track – perhaps the rapids are too big? – and it’s a delight to explore the many different layers, meaning you can’t just listen the once – this is a song which demands to be repeated…over…and over.

‘Riverbank’, by Pinewood, is out on May the 1st, just in time for summer. You can find him online on Instagram.

Listen to ‘Riverbank’:

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email