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Music | Review: “Modern Phenomena” by Northern American

Northern American

Los Angeles quartet, Northern American, premiered their single ‘Elysian’ via French site Les Inrocks a few months back.  Now with their début album’s arrival imminent, “Modern Phenomena” is set to offer a lot from the four-piece over the coming months.

Recorded at Red Rockets Glare studio in Santa Monica with producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives), has that breezy rock sound that came with early Young the Giant vibes.  Particularly with ‘So Natural’, it shines through and reminds of the somber sound from Coldplay’s first (and one of their best) album, “Parachutes”.

Title track, ‘Modern Phenomena’ and the smooth basslines, beach drive vocals and daydreaming synth are blissful. ‘Somewhere Out There’ picks up the tempo a little with the rolling drums. ‘Blue’ is almost an instantly deep song inspired by “lovers in the night” by the sea perhaps.

‘Days Between’ starts like Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’, before bringing in soulful synth and energetic guitar bursts to set the mood.   Slow burning its way into a rhythm is ‘Nothing Personal’ with shimmering guitar.  Previous ingle ‘Elysian’ is one of the best on the album, old upright piano sound, moody acoustic guitar over lyrics of the same quality, opting a Nada Surf sound to appreciate.

“Modern Phenomena” is out on 1 June on Heist Or Hit Records.