It’s hard to believe that River Phoenix has been gone for 26 years. But in the early ’90s, it seemed like the world virtually revolved around he, brother Joaquin and sister Rain – “it” kids in the best of all possible ways.
Considering their multitudinous talents, it’s hardly surprising that Rain Phoenix has “officially” launched her music career this year, with a poignant debut solo album, River, to be released this October 31. As the title suggests, it is a tribute to her brother, who died of a drug overdose outside L.A.’s Viper Room nightclub early the morning of Halloween, 1993, at the height of a soaring film career. The two were actually in a band together, Aleka’s Attic, and had built a devoted cult following, despite never recording an album.
A second single from her album is released today, and it is an achingly haunted ballad, with the lyric, “I got everything wrong / I got you right,” seeming to contain clues about her feelings for the still vividly lamented River.
“I’d love for listeners to take away whatever nourishes them – whatever they need,” she says about the full album. “In a wider aspirational sense, I hope we can think more about the reality of death during our lives, learning to celebrate the lives of loved ones when they die, and be more attenuated to death as life’s partner.
She continues, “To me, it’s like only seeing half of life if we’re not looking at death. I hope River can both be a source of solace for all of us who grieve and a life-affirming record.”
LaunchLeft will release River this October 31.