Tuesday, February 01, 2005

North Elementary: Find a Favorite Thing

North Elementary is a Chapel Hill band that formed when John Harrison and Margaret White split off from the Comas. Their first album, 2002's Out of Phase, is fairly eclectic within a basically indie rock framework. [Review] There's some straight ahead guitar rock (the album opener "Best Things," for instance), some low-key shuffle mixed with electro weirdness ("C Around U"), a dreamy drum-machine lullaby ("Departure"), some lovely acoustic business with an aching violin ("Tonight")... It's all over the map in a good way.

By all accounts, the followup, Lose Your Favorite Things, is even more textured and varied. [Review 1, 2] It's hard to tell from the one track that I've heard, "Chemicals" -- you'd certainly never peg the overall sound of Out of Phase from a single song. It's on the gauzy/floaty end of the spectrum, with lush bed of "la"s and "ah"s to send you off. Lovely. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

It appears that Margaret White has decamped to NYC, leaving both North Elementary and Regina Hexaphone (a fine band that I'll get around to eventually -- wish they had some MP3s on line!). She has a fine voice and her violin added a distinctive texture to the mix, so I don't know what North Elementary will sound like without them. But I'll certainly be paying attention to find out.

MP3: "Best Things"
MP3: "C Around U"
MP3: "Departure"
MP3: "Tonight"
(from Out of Phase, Sit-N-Spin 2002. Download the whole thing for free or buy it here.)

MP3: "Chemicals"
(from Lose Your Favorite Things, Sit-N-Spin 2004. Buy it.)


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