This 5-song EP, by Northline, was inspired by a book of the same name by Willy Vlautin (of Richmond Fontaine, The Delines). In a nutshell, the book tells the story of a young girl living a rough life in America with, ultimately, a sense of hope to it. Consequently, the EP emotionally mirrors this, in quite an understated yet beautiful way. Interestingly, the first edition of the novel Northline came with an original instrumental soundtrack performed by Vlautin himself although it is dramatically different to ‘this is AHORA’.
Northline is the musical project from Spaniard Enric Manez, and this EP demonstrates, with apparent ease, his warm, well-worn voice and beautiful musicality. It is 18 minutes of pleasant listening, two songs – 7 minutes 30 seconds of which – are in Spanish, which was a bit of a problem. However, having had them translated, the albeit abstract story became complete.
‘Run and Hide‘, the opening track sets the scene in terms of this band’s collective ability, and ‘Ground Open‘ has a great beat and musicality too.
‘Culpa’ (‘Blame’) was one of the songs performed in Spanish, yet being able to read the translation, became possibly the standout track.
All in all, this EP was a delightful surprise. It is pleasantly upbeat, peppered with lovely female backing vocals and with some charming guitar pieces. And, the cover artwork is abstract but very alluring too.