11 Songs, 43 Minutes

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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