Northern Lights & Southern Skies by The Capsules on Apple Music

10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Releasing their fourth album in a decade, this Kansas trio steadily improves on its sound: a shimmering pastiche of glistening and glowering electronics, pulsing bass (Jason Shields), emphatic and spare percussion (drummer Kevin Trevino), and sweet and translucent vocals (Jason's wife, multi-instrumentalist Julie Shields). On Northern Lights, sparse but effective guitar takes a backseat to synths and keyboards and Jason Shields' atmospheric bass, which drives some of the strongest tunes. His thick, oozing notes provide the canvas for "Across the Sky," a song whose beauty unfurls slowly and gracefully as Julie Shields' crystalline voice carves a deceptively hooky path. That lovely blanket of bass is the perfect counter to a pensive guitar on "From the Start," a tune that pulses with restrained desire; it evokes the kind of mood The xx creates. But it's not all dreamy stargazing and diaphanous haze. "Our Apocalypse" poses gritty, grinding synth shards against a pummeled floor tom, as a brittle snare crashes with martial precision. Northern Lights delivers a more complex listening experience you might expect at first glance. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Releasing their fourth album in a decade, this Kansas trio steadily improves on its sound: a shimmering pastiche of glistening and glowering electronics, pulsing bass (Jason Shields), emphatic and spare percussion (drummer Kevin Trevino), and sweet and translucent vocals (Jason's wife, multi-instrumentalist Julie Shields). On Northern Lights, sparse but effective guitar takes a backseat to synths and keyboards and Jason Shields' atmospheric bass, which drives some of the strongest tunes. His thick, oozing notes provide the canvas for "Across the Sky," a song whose beauty unfurls slowly and gracefully as Julie Shields' crystalline voice carves a deceptively hooky path. That lovely blanket of bass is the perfect counter to a pensive guitar on "From the Start," a tune that pulses with restrained desire; it evokes the kind of mood The xx creates. But it's not all dreamy stargazing and diaphanous haze. "Our Apocalypse" poses gritty, grinding synth shards against a pummeled floor tom, as a brittle snare crashes with martial precision. Northern Lights delivers a more complex listening experience you might expect at first glance. 

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4:05
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4:41
3:49
3:19
3:59
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3:05
4:24

About The Capsules

Following the breakup of their previous band Shallow, Kansas natives Julie (vocals, guitar, keys) and Jason Shields (bass, loops) recruited drummer Kevin Trevino to form a new project called the Capsules in 2001. Continuing in a style similar to Shallow, the new trio focused on melodic, loop-infused dream pop that recalled bands like Metric, Blonde Redhead, and the Cocteau Twins. They made their debut in 2002 with the album Reverser on Indiana-based Urinine Records, who also released their 2004 follow-up, Someone for Everyone, though the label folded that same year. Undaunted, the Capsules quickly released the Home EP in late 2004. In addition to these, the band recorded a song for the children's TV show Spongebob Squarepants and had their music featured on PBS's Roadtrip Nation and the popular video game Borderlands 2. They also toured extensively, sharing the stage with bands like the Flaming Lips, the Mountain Goats, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. After relocating to Dallas, Texas, the band launched their own label, Vespera Records, which reissued the entire Shallow back catalog as well as the next two Capsules releases: 2008's Long Distance Dedication and 2013's Northern Lights & Southern Skies. For their fifth album, 2014's The Long Goodbye, they signed with Texas-based indie and Saint Marie Records, who specialize in dream pop and shoegaze artists. ~ Timothy Monger

  • ORIGIN
    Lawrence, KS
  • FORMED
    2001

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