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Spirit Flags

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Album Review

A Northern Chorus, a sextet from Hamilton, Ontario, is among the crop of bands who are trying to keep the spirit and sound of the late-'80s/early-'90s shoegaze movement alive. For the most part, they succeed. Just like groups did in the old days, A Northern Chorus trots out layers of gauzy guitars, enigmatic and hazy vocals, fuzzy rhythms, loud/quiet dynamics, and a resigned, somewhat blissed-out, melancholic feel. But unlike most of the bands interested in shoegaze, A Northern Chorus writes good songs. Like their main inspiration, Slowdive, the songs would be good even without the effects and great clouds of sound. The band also helps their case by augmenting their atmospheric guitars-bass-and-drums shoegaze sound with flute and violin for maximum dreaminess and added texture. They don't rely on pure noise or post-Radiohead weirdness to get their point across. Spirit Flags washes over you like a warm wave in an ocean of guitars and violins and quietly aching vocals. It proudly stands up to classic shoegaze albums as if it were there at the very beginning. Anyone who ever bought a Slowdive record should check it out. The line for the time machine begins here.


Formed: 1999

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Presenting simple yet ingenious medleys of alternative pop along with artful indie rock substantiated by a resourceful string section, A Northern Chorus' conceptions seem to flow, aided by the cyclic choruses of their songs. Following the dissolution of their previous outfit, Datura Dream Defered, guitarist and vocalist Stu Livingstone, alongside Pete Hall (guitar, vocals), decided to form A Northern Chorus in 1999. During more than a year, the duo prepared and composed several compositions, prior...
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Spirit Flags, A Northern Chorus
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