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Groove Armada - At the River

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there

If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there

"At the River" is a song by British duo Groove Armada. It was released as a single in 1997 on 7" vinyl, limited to 500 copies. The song appeared on the duo's debut album "Northern Star" and again on their second album "Vertigo", released in April 1999. The song was written and produced whilst the duo were staying in a cottage in Ambleside in the Lake District, writing material for their first album. A sample of Patti Page's "Old Cape Cod" forms the basis of the song: the lines "If you're fond of sand dunes and salty air/Quaint little villages here and there", sung in Page's multi-tracked close-harmony, is repeated throughout the song, with the addition of synthesizer bass and slowed-down drum programming. The band found "Old Cape Cod" when they bought a 1950s compilation album from a bargain bin in a shop in Ambleside for 50p. Tom Findlay suggested that the use of only one section of the song's lyric left the track open to interpretation, "giving it a slightly eerie, melancholy quality", although he admitted that this wasn't by design but because the sampler they were using could only record ten seconds of audio at a time. A blues-style trombone solo inspired by the spiritual song "At the River" was performed by Andy Cato to produce a more chill-out track. According to Cato the only reason he had taken his trombone to the Lake District was because he wanted to practice before an upcoming jazz concert: when he wanted to record the trombone melody, he had to improvise a microphone by swapping around the wires in a speaker from the cottage's Alba hi-fi as the duo didn't have a microphone with them and were staying in a remote location. Cato credited this as giving the recording "a real vintage character".

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