11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On their debut album, Johanna and the Dusty Floor tread the ethereal path followed by My Brightest Diamond, St. Vincent and similar mystically inclined folk/rock acts. What gives Australian-born lead singer/keyboardist Johanna Cranitch a claim to distinction are her gossamer-like vocals, strong enough to rise above her swirling arrangements and delicate enough to embody the high-flown themes of her lyrics. Northern Lights anchors its dreamy excursions in solid rhythms, veering into techno-pop territory on tracks like “To Come to You” and “Gone and Dusted Away.” Cranitch carries herself with the air of a lovelorn enchantress on the bittersweet “Forest of Sorrows” and “Witch Shoes.” Billowing midtempo tunes like “Heavy Heart” and playfully theatrical numbers like “I Had a Secret” cut through the album’s rarefied atmosphere with catchy pop hooks. Nodding to a key influence, Cranitch covers Kate Bush’s evocative ballad “Cloudbusting” with a loving touch. With Northern Lights, Johanna and her cohorts back up their sonic sorcery with underlying talent and believable emotion.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On their debut album, Johanna and the Dusty Floor tread the ethereal path followed by My Brightest Diamond, St. Vincent and similar mystically inclined folk/rock acts. What gives Australian-born lead singer/keyboardist Johanna Cranitch a claim to distinction are her gossamer-like vocals, strong enough to rise above her swirling arrangements and delicate enough to embody the high-flown themes of her lyrics. Northern Lights anchors its dreamy excursions in solid rhythms, veering into techno-pop territory on tracks like “To Come to You” and “Gone and Dusted Away.” Cranitch carries herself with the air of a lovelorn enchantress on the bittersweet “Forest of Sorrows” and “Witch Shoes.” Billowing midtempo tunes like “Heavy Heart” and playfully theatrical numbers like “I Had a Secret” cut through the album’s rarefied atmosphere with catchy pop hooks. Nodding to a key influence, Cranitch covers Kate Bush’s evocative ballad “Cloudbusting” with a loving touch. With Northern Lights, Johanna and her cohorts back up their sonic sorcery with underlying talent and believable emotion.

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