Saturday, May 05, 2007

See Great Northern in Boston

Sweet intricate melodies and the male and female vocals of Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte playing counterpoint to one another soak through this album from beginning to end. Behind them are waves of lush orchestrated sounds that weave in and out providing a large, loud but crystal clear backdrop. Welcome to Trading Twilight for Daylight, the debut album from Great Northern.

Solon and Rachel, long time friends from Silver lake, CA who had both played in separate bands previously, formed the nucleus of the band, and later brought aboard drummer Davey Latter and bassist Ashley Dzerigian. Rachel says, “There isn’t any specific formula for crafting a song – the song will just tell you what it has to be. It can stem from an emotion, which then evolves lyrically or otherwise. Ultimately, when you listen to a song in your bedroom with headphones, it should be able to take you away, maybe on a little journey.”

Listening to the album tends to evoke a couple of emotions that tend to dwell in time: looking back on relationships, looking back at places, and piecing together the present. From the opening delicate piano strokes of the first track, Our Bleeding Hearts (available below), it starts...
Here is a song for the only one
that you know that you never knew
you're still looking for.
This desire to examine the past permeates the album. From Telling Lies:
Bending backwards
to look behind
pushing forward, closer in time
And later in the album, you come across City of Sleep (a hauntingly sparse arrangement)...
follow through
reach behind me
see if you remember me
come with me
to that place where
we remember what to be
Is the question ever resolved? Pick up the album on May 15th (it's scheduled date of release) to find out for yourself.

In the meantime, here's a chance to win the following:
  • a signed copy of the album, Trading Twilight for Daylight
  • a Great Northern t-shirt
  • a pair of tickets to see them live in Boston with Mary Timony on June 13th
Simply leave a comment (or e-mail me) with your name, e-mail, and where you would want to travel that's north of you. I'll pick a random winner sometime next Saturdayish and notify them via e-mail.

Great Northern - Our Bleeding Hearts
: Trading Twilight for Daylight

Great Northern - City of Sleep
: Trading Twilight for Daylight

Visit their website, their label Eenie Meenie Records, and become their friend on MySpace.

Tour dates:
10 San Francisco, CA - Popscene
15 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo [Record release show]
25 Vancouver, BC - TBA *
26 Seattle, WA - TBA *
27 Portland, OR - Holocene *
28 Eugene, OR - Indigo District
29 San Francisco, CA - The Independent *
30 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *
31 Long Beach, CA - The Prospector

01 San Diego, CA - Beauty Bar
04 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
06 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity +
08 Chicago, IL - Shubas +
09 Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace [NXNE]
10 Montreal, QC - Divan Orange
11 Buffalo, NY - Sound Lab
13 Boston, MA - Middle East +
15 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall

+ = w/ Mary Timony
* = w/ Loney, Dear

Other Points of the Compass

The Fiery Furnaces - Up In The North : Gallowsbird's Bark

Boogie Down Productions - South Bronx : The Best Of B-Boy Records

Denison Witmer - East from West : Happy Birthday Denison (original version on Are You A Dreamer?)

R.E.M. - How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us
: New Adventures In Hi-Fi


daniel said...

damn, i'd love to go but i just left boston for the summer!

Amanda said...

I'm in Boston, so that makes the question a little difficult. I used to be in this world postcard exchange thing and I got an odd amount of postcards from Finland. So I think I'm going to pick Helsinki.


Chrissy said...

If I win, I want my txs to go to Amanda at BU.

That said, I've always wanted to go to Brainerd, MN. Mostly because it's called Brainerd, but also because it's in the movie Fargo and I heard the mayor say that when the good folks up north saw that film, no one laughed. At all.

Des Moines, IA