11 May 2012 - 0 Comments
Much has happened in the 18 months since the release of Great North’s debut album Newfoundland. One guitarist joined a modestly successful pop band, their drummer cut his head open on a piece of coral in Hawaii. Frontman and songwriter Hayden Donnell trumped them bothby marrying his partner and bassist Rachel Donnell.
This has resulted in an unconventional collection of love songs, as Auckland’s coyest alt. country charmers dispense with the familiar tales of infatuation and heartbreak. Great Northturns instead to contemplate a less turbulent, more meaningful kind of relationship on their sophomore album Halves. It is a collection of songs about the hours spent with those who are counting on our promises.
Those stories are set to music that owes as much to the soundscapes of experimental indie rock as it does to Okkervil River, Gillian Welch, Justin Townes Earle, Bruce Springsteen and other stalwarts of the Americana genre. This is both the most traditional, and most alternative, collection of recordings the band has produced to date.
The Donnellsare joined by Dale Campbell on piano and vocals and electric guitarist Strahan Cole. Olly Scott-Dye provided the drumming, before leaving to pursue romance and conveyor belt construction in the tropics. Long-serving producer Dave Parker (of Oratia-based Little Monster Studio) once again filled the gaps with everything from marching drums to digital soundscapes.
Halves is a carefully considered leap from the band’s celebrated debut. It channels a depth that has come with maturity, and the mix of confidence and self-examination that comes from making big promises.
The first single ‘Lead Me to the Light’ is now available for free download at: http://greatnorth.bandcamp.com/
A special making of video is also available to be viewed here: http://youtu.be/CxLe7z0RW7s
Great North will release their sophomore album Halves at Grey Lynn Library Hall on May 26, with support from Tono and the Finance Company. This will be followed by a nationwide tour in June.
June 21: Wunderbar, Lyttelton
June 22: Darkroom, Christchurch
June 23: Taste Merchants, Dunedin
June 28 Yot Club, Raglan
June 29: Meow, Wellington
June 30: Wine Cellar, Auckland
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