Elysian is the first release from Modern Phenomena, the debut album by Los Angeles foursome Northern American. You might look at a running time of just over five minutes and, taking in the song’s easy floating melody and gentle two chord verse, wonder if they haven’t gone for too much here. But while you’re ruminating on that, Elysian takes you down through the boulevards, from the hills to the coast. A steady breeze is your first companion, delicious slide guitar and electric piano for support. Time flies as you float on.
The follow up to the band’s 2013 EP Happiness Hungover, Modern Phenomena was recorded at Red Rockets Glare studio in Santa Monica with producer Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and mastered by Mark Chalecki (Local Natives/Avi Buffalo/Islands). Modern Phenomena is out on 18th May on Heist Or Hit Records. It’s hoped that North American and UK/European tour dates will follow in the Summer.
Northern American formed when Nate Paul (guitar/vocals) and Shane Alch (keys) met in high school. The pair moved to Los Angeles, joining forces with Augusto Vega (bass) and Bruno Calenda (drums). Working from their Chinatown studio, they record very much as a collective, each member chipping in on every aspect of the writing process, which may go some way to explaining the balanced center and natural harmony that percolates through Elysian.