North of Tomorrow – ‘Clear as Can Be’

Phoenix-based band North of Tomorrow impress with an eclectic engrossment throughout new album Clear as Can Be. The production spans across a variety of successful aesthetical pursuits — from the glistening electro-pop opening “Late Again” to the folk-infused “It’s Always Something” and late-night jazz fervency of “If You Will.” The trio of Gary Adrian, Brian Mueller, and Stephen Rogers lead a riveting sound — influenced by artists spanning from Peter Gabriel and Bowie to Talking Heads and Miles Davis.

The Peter Gabriel influence feels especially prominent on the compelling “The Pretenders Ball.” “Did she tell you how things used to be?” the debonair vocals ask amidst key pulses, as the title-touting refrain injects brassy intrigue and suave guitar work. “Catbird Seat” follows with similar success. A lounge-friendly assortment of perky piano and warming bass traverse into a radiant “you have all the answers,” hook, inducing replays with its multi-layered vocal charm and “all from the safety of your catbird seat,” punctuation.

Highlights are numerous throughout. “The Boojum Tree” integrates sophisti-pop vocal effects alongside a chilled-out arsenal, reminiscent of later-era Prefab Sprout. Finale “This and That” caps the album off aptly with a journey into anthemic rock vigor, interspersed by flourishes of electronic lushness and jazzy charisma. Clear as Can Be is a stellar output from North of Tomorrow, emphasizing both the project’s stylistic versatility and consistently melodic fervency.

“Little Things” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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