Lockdown is forcing artists to think in different ways. This doesn’t just cover how they can promote their latest albums, it is more to do with how the can channel their creative instincts.
This kind of forced thinking outside of the box can be a good thing, as it can result in new approaches to the usual album/tour routine and can also be available to many people across the world simultaneously.
Sun 13 favourites Northwest have risen to the occasion by finishing a project two years in the making; a live event filmed in a warehouse featuring video-art, strobe-lights, guitars, various keyboards, vocal effects, loops, dance and improvisation.
The duo want to present both of their albums in a new light prior to (hopefully) being able to take this show on the road later in the year.
So far, Northwest have shared two songs from this project, Look At Me and The Day, both of which are presented in a stripped down format.
The effect is stunning. Look At Me is an epic, building up from sparse electronic white noise over its 12 minutes. Ignacio plays an effects laden guitar with a violin bow while Mariuca slowly unfolds from the floor up. This swell of sound fades away and Mariuca rises and dances centre stage, with projections bathing her in patterns.
Her vocals are extraordinary and she has a commanding stage presence. The soundscapes created by Ignacio are rich in atmosphere and provide the unconventional melodies that form the song’s backbone.
The Day is pared down to it bare bones, consisting of nothing more than keyboards and vocals. The mark of a good song is whether it can stand up to such treatment, and The Day does more than that, it positively glows. Mariuca sings, eyes closed, and carries the song with the sheer beauty of her performance.
Fans of the 4AD aesthetic would be well advised to check this band out at their earliest opportunity.
The band said of this video shoot “The roof had so many leaks that it started raining indoors just when we had started recording. We decided to keep filming for as long as we could; I honestly think the result was worth the pain.”
If this is to be treated as an extravagant rehearsal for their next live dates, the live Northwest experience promises to be something incredible.
In the meantime, we hope the whole performance is released soon, so we can immerse ourselves in the wonder that is Northwest.
To watch these videos is to fall in love with them and their own homespun beauty. What we are witnessing here is something very special, a band using the time that lockdown has given them to create a thing of shimmering splendor.
Northwest’s albums can be bough at Bandcamp here.