Dream Pop From the Great White North: A Northern Chorus

 

Canadian dream-pop band A Northern Chorus was formed in 1999 by guitarists/vocalists Stu Livingstone and  Pete Hall following the break-up of their previous group Datura Dream Defered.

For over a year they performed as a duo, during which time they also began composing and performing their own original songs.

In 2000 the band add two new members, bassist Mark Raymond and drummer Dan Jagt, but it was the 2001 addition of violinist Erin Aurich to the band

which proved to be the missing piece for the band’s conceptual work.

Following the release of their debut disc, 2001’s Before We All Go to Pieces, the band went on an extended Canadian and U.S. tour. 

With the tour behind them, and a new rhythm section, percussionist Marshall Bureau and bassist Owen Davies in place, the band began recording their next album, 2003’s Spirit Flags at Mount Fairview Sound in Dundas, Ontario. Rounding out the group for this album were flautist Julie MacDonald, and Sarah MacGregor on violin and violo.

By the time that the band released 2005’s  Bitter Hands Resign the band had gone through another lineup change with the additions of Alex McMaster, (cello) and percussionist Steve Hesselink.

Bitter Hands Resign

melds the extended pieces and touching vocals of Sigur Rós with the emotional rock of Appleseed Cast’s Two Conversations

Influential Pitchfork Media said of Bitter Hands Resign

A Northern Chorus has turned out the record that Death Cab for Cutie might make after taking an on online classical composition course and a near-fatal overdose of tranquilizer cocktails.

Released in 2007, The millions too many, marked the return of violinist Erin Aurich and the addition of drummer Craig Halliday and also featured the one-man-horn-section, Ben Bowen. 

With it’s faster tempos and shorter songs,

seven of nine songs clocking in around four minutes

The millions too many is

hushed, artsy, and smart.

A number of the album’s songs resemble those by

similar Canadian bands like Arcade Fire and Rheostatics

but it’s on the album’s center piece, the dramatic, slow building “The Canadian Shield,” where the band resembles

the Canadian equivalent of Sigur Rós.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Albums:

Before We All Go To Pieces (CD, Digital) Black Mountain Music 2001
Spirit Flags (CD, Digital) Sonic Unyon 2003 
Bitter Hands Resign (CD, Digital) Sonic Unyon 2005
Before We All Go To Pieces (CD) Black Mountain Music 2006
The Millions Too Many (CD, Digital) Sonic Unyon 2007
The Millions Too Many (LP) Sonic Unyon 2007

Singles & EPs:

Chained To The Truth  (7″, Digital) Black Mountain Music 2007 

Appears On:

Albums:

“Let The Parrots Speak For Themselves” Blisscent II (CD) Blisscent Records 2003
“Subjects & Matter”
Transcend Mainstream Mediocrity (CD) Sonic Unyon 2005

Compilations:

Slide” We Could Live In Hope : A Tribute To Low (CD, MP3) Fractured Discs  2004 
“Until Cause Meets Effect”
Je T’Aime (CD) Where Are My Records 2006  
“The Millions Too Many” Nothing On But Your Radio: Live Sessions From CJSW 90.9 (2xCD) CJSW 2008

 

Bitter Hands Resign (2005)

Playing Time: 50:00

1. The Shepard & The Chauffeur (6:58)
2. Subjects & Matter (6:51)
3. This Open Heart (7:31)
4. Watershed Divide (6:31)
5. Prisoners Of Circumstance (5:49)
6. Costa Del Sol (8:10)
7. Don’t Think Of Collapse (3:33)
8. Winterize (4:37)

Buy Bitter Hands Resign from Sonic Unyon 

Buy Bitter Hands Resign from Amazon.com

 

The Millions Too Many (2007)

Playing Time: 39:25

1. Carpenter (4:13)
2. Skeleton keys (3:47)
3. The millions too many (3:42)
4. No stations (4:06)
5. The Canadian Shield (5:30)
6. Horse to stable (3:39)
7. Remembrance Day (4:34)
8. Ethic of the pioneer (4:13)
9. Victory parade (5:41)

Buy The Millions Too Many Sonic Unyon

Buy The Millions Too Many from Amazon.com

 

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2 responses to “Dream Pop From the Great White North: A Northern Chorus

    • I’ve just downloaded your “album.” I’m no critic, but when I’ve had a chance to listen to it I’ll drop you a line and let you know hat I think. There is so much great music coming out of Canada these days, but unfortunately most people here in the States will never get to hear it.

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