Providing as much intrigue about its creators and their musical endeavour as undoubted enjoyment, Wander from US band Northern American is an immediate slice of evidence as to why there is a richly brewing buzz building up around the Californian band. Not a wind to rigorously ruffle hair and agitate feet into keen wantonness but a caressing breeze with the potency and seduction to coax out a full and warm appreciation, the new single from the LA quartet dances with the imagination whilst taking thoughts on a glide through the emotive and scenic persuasion seemingly suggested by their home city’s instinctive temptation.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Nate Paul, keyboardist Shane Alch, drummer Bruno Calenda, and bassist Augusto Vega, Northern American declare their music as a picture of the city they live in, “From The Doors to Tupac, we are inspired by the same sunset, Los Angeles; the place that was and always will be.” Certainly the sultry and mesmeric heat that you imagine soaks the city washes over the senses through the persuasive sounds embracing the ears adding to the inspirations of the likes classic bands The Doors and The Byrds on to contemporaries such as Local Natives, Autolux, and Letting Up Despite Great Faults which the band says impacted on them. There is a slight familiarity to the songs making up the single at times, though not admittedly sparking thoughts of the first two bands mentioned, but also a uniqueness which sets the band apart without forging a wholly individual presence quite yet.
The successor to the well-received Happiness Hungover EP, Wander is poised to tease and tempt wider attention through its worldwide release via Heist or Hit Records, not only to itself but in preparation for the band’s debut album currently in the preparation. Currently working with Local Natives producer Raymond Richards all signs point to the year being an extensive awakening towards the band’s enveloping sounds, the single the initial provocative melodic climate to drift over the passions. A release which like the summer sun seduces and heats the senses more the longer you remain in its gaze, Wander emerges as a lingering suasion which will be taken close attention of.
Wander emerges from a busy yet restrained ambience, electro pulses shooting across its gentle sky whilst an eager rhythmic and melodic brew builds into a jazzy and evocative texture surrounding the expressive tones of Paul. It is not an entrance which opens new doors and definitely it carries a likeable familiarity but with the strong vocals, skittish rhythmic stroll, and guitar jangle it only entices a welcoming appetite. This is until a mouthwatering flip into an almost tribalistic rhythmic tango breaks free, the wonderful detour hypnotic and carnivalesque plus quite irresistible. It is a glorious unexpected twist soon followed by another as a dark drift of sound and adventure shows its hand. A moody alluring bassline provides a shadow kissed temptation whilst keys float and flit over its infectious bait. The blend is almost Joy Division/PIL like before melodies mingle with cosmic shards of electronics to lead the listener back into the initial course of the song. It is a masterful encounter which only gets better and stronger in its contagion the more time spent in its impressive company.
The track is accompanied by Record Forever, a smouldering blaze of melodic and funk pressed enterprise with again little nuances and shifts that surprise and further the open engagement. Not as immediate and ultimately as magnetic as its predecessor, the track washes over the emotions with a tender and respectful energy but again is unafraid to turn the temperature and urgency up in occasional moments to remain unpredictable in another proposition which holds a familiar appearance but with indefinable reasons.
The release makes it easy to see why Northern American has drawn impressed and strong reactions to date and it is hard to imagine them not breaking out a much wider audience in preparation for their forthcoming full length. Wander does not light major fires in the passions but has them simmering quite nicely; a great introduction to a band with the potential to be a name on a tsunami of new excited lips ahead.
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