Northern American show promise on ‘Modern Phenomena’ debut

Northern American‘Modern Phenomena’
Northern American (Heist or Hit)
3.5 stars out of 5

With their mellow, British-tinged sound, it’s not surprising to me that Los Angeles-based newcomers Northern American have enjoyed more success in the United Kingdom thus far than in their home country. The quartet’s “Happiness Hungover” EP dropped a couple years ago and debut single “Wander” garnered play on BBC radio. They even landed a record deal with U.K. label Heist or Hit, which is releasing Northern American’s solid first full-length “Modern Phenomenon.”

Northern American CD“We write really organically,’ frontman Nate Paul explains of a band that includes Shane Alch, Augusto Vega and Bruno Calenda. “There’s not many people we know that write the way we do; it gives our songs an extra energy. We’re all getting things off our chests; it’s this weird thing that just happens.”

There are plenty of things to like about the 10-track, 39-minute platter, but Northern American will need to diversify their sound a little to take things to the next level. The songs are good — especially “So Natural,” the title track, “Days Between” and “Elysian” — but they tend to sound too similar. That works on an EP, but grows a little tiresome over the course of a proper full-length. As they continue to mature and evolve, I have no doubt this band has a great album in them. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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