‘Northern Lights‘ is the debut single from Mad Crush’s new album of the same name which is out on November 16th. It’s a dreamy folk ballad about loneliness and loss, and is songwriter John Elderkin’s attempt to capture the essence of loneliness, and draws inspiration from every story of disappointment that he could recall. As he says “some friends of mine had a lively conversation about times when they’d been let down, and all kinds of funny examples came up, like ordering x-ray glasses as a kid only to find that they didn’t actually let you see through people’s clothing. One of the heavy examples came from a friend who’d gone to Scotland to see the Northern Lights but they didn’t really show up, and when they did, they were underwhelming because of the weather (as I recall). That really stuck with me, and the idea came back as I was trying to write about a person as lonely as I could make up. Sometimes I set writing tasks for myself like that, to maintain focus or simply to see what turns up. I didn’t want to figure out why this person was lonely, only to describe her aloneness. For whatever reason, the Northern Lights story came to mind, and when I tweaked the story to be about a person watching the Northern Lights by themselves, that did the trick. Then I could throw myself deep into the song. All of which is to say, this song is about how we keep on going, even when we’re really hurting.“.
Mad Crush brings together five talented players whose previous credits are widely varied. Drummer Chuck Garrison started as indie-legend Superchunk’s drummer, and he has toured the world with them and also with his later bands Pipe and Zen Frisbee. He has played in support of such luminaries as Sonic Youth, Screaming Trees, and Mudhoney, among others. Violinist Laura Thomas has worked with a bevy of heavyweights, from Ray Charles, Jay Z, and Judy Collins to acclaimed R.E.M. producer Mitch Easter, Itzhak Perlman, and Hilary Hahn. Singer John Elderkin’s has recorded with such VIPs as Stuart Lehrman (The Roaches, Paul Simon), Brian Paulson (Wilco, Son Volt, Superchunk) and Chris Stamey (Whiskeytown, Big Star). Lead guitarist Mark Whelan has played in The Popes and The Veldt, among many other bands. And newcomer Joanna Sattin brings the hot, remarkable vocal delivery that gives the band it’s “certain something.”