Trading Twilight for Daylight

As college students, trading twilight for daylight can mean the end of a brutal all-night study session or stumbling out of your warm bed for an 8 a.m. class.
As a night person, there’s nothing too great about the sun coming up. The Los Angeles-based group Great Northern has a different idea.
When asked about the band, people tend to either put on a blank stare or say, ‘Great Northern? Is that, like, a brand of camping gear?’ Yes, but more importantly, they are a great band about to break out.
They were labeled as ‘Ones to Watch in 2006’ by the Los Angeles Times. They opened for Ladytron last May and their single ‘Home’ has graced Indie 103.1’s airwaves several times. Some of the tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Trading Twilight for Daylight’ can be downloaded from various online blogs and on their MySpace page.
The album’s opening track, ‘Our Bleeding Hearts,’ asks, ‘Doesn’t it make you feel good? Doesn’t it make you feel better?’ Its melodic, infectious pop really does make you feel good.
Great Northern was formed by Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte, two longtime friends. Another mutual friend of the two original members, drummer Davey Latter, joined after a few months. They met bassist Ashley Dzerigian by chance and found that the four members worked well together.
The benefits of the band’s closeness are evident throughout the album. All of the songs’ components blend together like sugar and lemonade. The results are just as sweet. ‘Trading Twilight for Daylight’ is a lovely combination of piano, drums and beautiful male and female vocals over electric and acoustic guitar.
Bixler and Stolte’s vocals go perfectly with the instruments. In ‘City of Sleep,’ Stolte’s velvety ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ are superimposed over metallic piano chords. It gives you pleasant goosebumps and gets stuck in your head for days.
Great Northern had the option of choosing up to three genres to describe themselves on their MySpace page and came up with ‘Rock/Rock/Rock.’ This is somewhat deceiving, as a full listen to their album reveals some charming and melodic pop songs influenced by The Beatles and Elliott Smith. It’s not rock cubed, but it’s definitely good stuff.
The musically upbeat album takes a moody turn once it gets to ‘lOw IS a HEIghT.’ Despite starting off with the softly sung lyrics ‘Kill everyone around you’ and having a title that looks like something off of an A-Teens album, the song is slow and graceful. The female vocals are complemented by delicate piano notes that sound like bells.
‘The Middle,’ on the other hand, is an infectious pop song that calls to mind The Shins on a happy day. Both Bixler and Stolte contribute vocals; the contrast between the male and female voices is mirrored by the shifts between solid drumming and dreamy, symphonious strings.
It’s interesting to note that their full-length album comes out in May, a sunny month that gets rid of April’s showers and brings us flowers. Filled with upbeat, enjoyable songs and, for the most part, happy lyrics, this album is a great soundtrack to the impending almost-summer months.
Rating: 4/5