UK twosome NORTHERN KIND first appeared back in 2006, and on three albums released between 2007 and 2013 I understand they gained a bit of a following among people with a strong interest in music founded on 80’s and 90’s synth pop. The EP “Düh” is their most recent collection of new music, and was released towards the end of autumn 2020.
The songs we are presented with here all cover slightly different grounds in the synth and electronic pop universe, with possible reference points, other than more generic synth pop, being bands such as Erasure and a-ha. Possibly with a wee bit of house music sneaking in to the rhythms department here and there and what might or might not be tiny nods in the direction of electronic music pioneers Tangerine Dream.
As far as I’m concerned the band is at their very best when they explore more sparse arrangements here circulating around a captivating foundation lightly flavored with additional elements and with a catchy chorus as the high point of the songs. Half of the songs here accomplish this beautifully, radio and dance floor friendly excursions of retro-oriented synth pop with a delightful flow and captivating details. The vocals are fine and relaxed, the effects are used to add fun and energizing elements, while the core rhythms and lead motif supplied the drive. Everything is kept short and sweet too, so that nothing really overstays it’s welcome. Personally I think the song ‘Fab’ is the most hypnotic example at hand here, a brilliant little song I find easy to like in all it’s relative simplicity.
If you fancy a slice of synth pop flavored with electronic music details like they made it some 30 years back, Northern Kind’s latest EP should fill your needs in this department quite nicely. Not the most advanced material I’ll come across this year I guess, but certainly a production that scores high in the catchy and captivating department.
My rating: 85/100