11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Great Northern excel at low-key, hypnotic ballads and mid-tempos that transcend the decades. Singer-keyboardist Rachel Stolte sings with zombied emotion, sounding both urgent and unimpressed by her sonic surroundings that ebb and swell like a small quiet room overwhelmed with grandeur, as if the sound is about to burst beyond its predetermined dimensions. It’s these tensions and contradictions that best serve the Los Angeles-based band’s second album. Even the band’s roots are distorted, recalling not ‘60’s psychedelia but ‘80’s Southern California Paisley Underground psychedelic revival, as the pace often recalls the purpled haze of Rain Parade. “Houses” uses a thick bass to drive Stolte’s pop vocals and harmonies to the dark side, boiling over from its beginning simmer with guitars and keyboards that eventually loop and feedback. Singer-songwriter Solon Bixler co-writes these songs with Stolte and together they often carve out a dreamlike state. “Driveway” plays like a weightless object, its melody sweeping over a static keyboard that sounds almost frozen in space.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Great Northern excel at low-key, hypnotic ballads and mid-tempos that transcend the decades. Singer-keyboardist Rachel Stolte sings with zombied emotion, sounding both urgent and unimpressed by her sonic surroundings that ebb and swell like a small quiet room overwhelmed with grandeur, as if the sound is about to burst beyond its predetermined dimensions. It’s these tensions and contradictions that best serve the Los Angeles-based band’s second album. Even the band’s roots are distorted, recalling not ‘60’s psychedelia but ‘80’s Southern California Paisley Underground psychedelic revival, as the pace often recalls the purpled haze of Rain Parade. “Houses” uses a thick bass to drive Stolte’s pop vocals and harmonies to the dark side, boiling over from its beginning simmer with guitars and keyboards that eventually loop and feedback. Singer-songwriter Solon Bixler co-writes these songs with Stolte and together they often carve out a dreamlike state. “Driveway” plays like a weightless object, its melody sweeping over a static keyboard that sounds almost frozen in space.

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4:17
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3:25
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4:47
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About Great Northern

The Los Angeles-based quartet Great Northern creates a shimmering hybrid of alternative rock and textured dream pop. The heart of the band is singer/songwriter Solon Bixler, who was raised in a classical music environment as the son of a composer and conductor. His first introduction to the music business, however, was a stint as the guitarist for 30 Seconds to Mars from 2000 to 2003, followed by a short period in the Grandaddy-influenced psych pop outfit Earlimart. After writing and recording a series of demos while on the road with the latter band, Bixler solicited lyrics and vocals from his friend Rachel Stolte, a singer, keyboardist, and occasional actress who had formerly been lead singer of the late-'90s post-hardcore outfit Whirlpool.

After recruiting drummer Davey Latter (who had played with Bixler in Earlimart) and bassist Ashley Dzerigian (following an abortive stint with the Silversun Pickups' Brian Aubert on bass) to complete the lineup, Great Northern began gigging around Los Angeles in 2005 while completing material for a debut album. Following a pair of low-profile, self-released demo EPs, Great Northern signed with the indie label Eenie Meenie Records in the summer of 2006 and began recording with producer Mathias Schneeberger. Trading Twilight for Daylight marked the band's debut in the spring of 2007, followed two years later by Remind Me Where the Light Is, which built upon the band's sound with more nuanced, orchestral anthems. ~ Stewart Mason

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