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Music Review

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Modern Phenomena


Artist: Northern America
Label: Heist Or Hit
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 18 May 2015

Los Angeles based quartet Northern American release their debut album, Modern Phenomena, on Heist Or Hit Records. Nate Paul (guitar/vocals) and Shane Alch (keyboard) met in high school, immediately finding a kinship in their common love of music. The two moved to LA, joining forces with Augusto Vega (bass) and Bruno Calenda (drums), setting up a studio in Chinatown and writing and rehearsing almost daily ever since. While most artists have their own roles to play within their band, Northern American is a fully collaborative project with all band members contributing lyrics, melody and rhythm to the process...

I was impressed last year (2014) when I reviewed Northern America's single 'Wander'. I noted back then that the band had a confidence that normally takes years of playing to pull off effortlessly. I've been eagerly anticipating the release of this album, and it was certainly worth the wait.

There are 10 tracks (38 min, 31 sec) here and almost all of them could be singles in their own right. There's no filler stuff here, this is all top quality material. The sound is very much a clash of Coldplay, Radiohead and Keane... but so much more. There's certainly a '90s indie feel to the entire album.

It's hard to pick favourites, mainly because it's an album that works best when listened to in its entirety. But if I had to pick out the album's highlights, I'd have to go for 'Modern Phenomena'; 'You Remind Me'; 'Strange Behavior'; and 'Elysian'.

Pick this up. You won't regret it.


Nick Smithson

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