Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Run River North

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In the course of several months, Run River North went from playing a handful of hometown shows in Los Angeles to performing to an audience of millions on late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! It was an explosive trajectory for the sextet, whose uplifting anthems march to the beat of drums, jangling guitars and a rapturous string section. The rapid ascent from obscurity launched a new chapter for the band (then called Monsters Calling Home), whose upcoming full-length self-titled debut ventures further into effervescent rock anchored with a down-home aesthetic.

On the self-titled debut, the songs ebb and flow with optimism, traversing emotional and musical landscapes woven into the strings duo of Daniel Chae and Jennifer Rim, alongside the galloping rhythm section of bassist Joe Chun, keyboardist Sally Kang and drummer John Chong. Together, their voices coalesce as one, a chorus calling out with a gentle urgency. The music of Run River North explores the ever-shifting search for self, from the energetic indie-rock interludes to the lonesome guitar strums, always asking the question: Is home a place or is it the people in your life? “We’re not a posh, polished pop sound,” says Alex Hwang, Run River North's singer/songwriter. “We have stories we want to tell and they take a little more time. After all, the journey to find your place is a long one, it’s an ongoing, evolving adventure.”

The personal stories of the band members are as compelling as the songs themselves. Hwang and his band mates all came from families who moved to Southern California from Asia, and he says that the album reflects their shared search for a sense of home. "The immigrant experience is unique, but our songs also address that universal struggle for identity,” Hwang says. "We wanted to write about it and share the stories about being 'dash American.'"

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