Northern Town (EP)
gold ship records
Earnest and Passionate Americana From the English Heartlands.
We reviewed the opening and title track, (Nothing Beyond This) Northern Town late last year and screamed our praise from the highest rooftops; so it was with great anticipation that I placed the disc into the car stereo.
That song still sounds as powerful today as it did then; and the message; if anything has become even more poignant as the months have gone by. The tale will or should resonate around the working class areas of Europe and North America as every time a factory or shop closes another piece of our collective Soul dies; and young Mr. Whittemore expresses those feelings very eloquently ‘ain’t nothing wrong with a fire in your heart/it’s your unsatisfied mind that holds the key’.
The next track; If It Weren’t For the Rain is a quality piece of ‘Road Weary’ Americana with a neat mandolin (?) solo in the middle while Luke’s expressive voice goes straight for the heartstrings.
Lonesome Level Crossing has a sweet melancholy ‘swing’ to it and Whittemore’s way with descriptive words are as clever as anything I’ve heard out of Nashville or Austin in the last year.
Have Mercy is/was the B-Side of that original single; and now that I listen to it again it sounds a lot less Dylanesque and a lot more Dom Williams; and that’s meant as a compliment.
As this is an EP there are only 6 songs here; and each one is certainly worth its place here; with the bitter-sweet So Far Apart yet again tugging at the heartstrings as Whittemore sounds on the edge of tears as the words filter out of the speakers; while the closing track Cold On The Hills conjures up images of wooden shacks on the wind swept prairie and the abject loneliness of star-crossed lovers.
Yet again some of the finest Americana music you will hear this year doesn’t come from America….but England; and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Released June 10th 2016