NorthKid – MONO

“This is in stereo. I feel cheated.”

Tim: We first met this lot with their debut last November, and were somewhat positive; here’s song number two.

Tom: This is in stereo. I feel cheated.

Tim: First thing first: that chorus is a cracker. The melody’s great, the sound’s even better, and it’s not too bad an analogy.

Tom: Shame about that “solo/so low” rhyme, but you’re right. Also, I’d like to give credit for that build in the pre-chorus, that incredible middle eight, and the backing in the final chorus. I actually went back to listen to just the middle eight a second time. There’s a lot of good in here.

Tim: But the song did get me wondering: will it ever not be weird when things like Instagram come up in lyrics? Because I’ve only just about got on board with ‘text’, though even that stuck out a bit, and I’m trying to imagine a future in which Instagram washes over me as easily as does the Chevy that got taken to the levee.

I kind of hope it’ll come, because then I’ll be able to enjoy the great sound here without being distracted.

NorthKid – Firefly

“All the necessary bits are there.”

Tim: New boyband off the north of Norway, nice and deep inside the Arctic circle; presumably that’s where the name comes from. Here’s their opening number.

Tim: Pretty good, right?

Tom: I was going to say “meh” until that quiet pre-chorus; that actually made me sit up and listen.

Tim: They are Helge, Bilal, Håkon, Sebastian and Vegard, and pleasingly they all seem fairly competent, always a bonus. One of them’s already been described as ‘the Zayn of the group’, which feels a bit like tempting fate to me but there you go, it’s done now.

Tom: See, that just means “first to leave” to me, but never mind.

Tim: Well, indeed. Whatever happens in the future, though, we can only judge them right now on the material they put out, and so far it’s looking promising – melody, instrumentation, production, vocals, all the necessary bits are there.

Tom: And yet, that’s not unqualified praise from either of us. When the best part is the quiet pre-chorus, I can’t give it anything more than what you said earlier: COMPETENT.

Tim: I’m not sure I’d personally choose to put this forth as a lead track to hold an album up, so hopefully there’s something a little better or more special to come later, but I’ll take it for now.