North Atlantic Oscillation announce new album with new track ‘August’
Edinburgh trio North Atlantic Oscillation are delighted to announce news of their new album The Third Day as they share the first track online from the upcoming record. The album is due Oct 6th via Kscope & the band will embark on a UK tour in late October.
NAO have an organic & unique take on rock electronica, which is clear to see from their new track. ‘August’ flows seamlessly offering a glimpse of what to expect from the forthcoming album. It’s an effortless listen from a group with an incredibly pure sound.
With their new album The Third Day, Edinburgh’s North Atlantic Oscillation have created a flow of energy deserving of their meteorological namesake. At a time when music is increasingly cut down into single segments for easy digestion, the record – the first they’ve produced entirely themselves – is woven together as a whole, beautiful body of work, the tracks entwined around each other with no dead space in between.
According to vocalist, guitarist and keyboard player Sam Healy, it’s an approach that’s been building since his childhood introduction to the work of The Beatles. “I think the perfect example of this is Abbey Road, the second side of that,” he says. “The legend is that John Lennon was tired and emotional at that point, and tended to spend a lot of time in darkened rooms. So Paul was the one who did the little segues between tracks on side two. The way that those tracks interweave is absolutely fantastic. Even as a kid I remember thinking ‘that’s really clever, that’s a really interesting way to take advantage of your skills as an album writer rather than just a songwriter.’”
The band, completed by Ben Martin (drums, programming) and Chris Howard (bass), formed in 2005, and quickly became known for their intricate, progressive take on rock and electronica, their 2010 debut Grappling Hooks and follow-up Fog Electric gaining them critical praise and plenty of fans with a taste for delicately intelligent music. And while The Third Day is not a concept album like its predecessor, that continuous flow is something Healy intended. He compares it to a shortwave radio sweeping from one station to the next.
Though the guitars and vocals were recorded by Healy at home – where he confesses to agonising over the minutiae of the sounds (“If you’re doing stuff at home you’re not stressing out other people in the studio, they don’t have to hear your screams and howls and tears,” he says, wryly) – other parts were created in the Irish countryside, at long-time collaborator Peter Meighan’s studio. But it was the setting for the drums that was to be the most dramatic. They were recorded in a Victorian mill in Newcastle, up in the rafters while a gale howled through the building. “The wood is from the late 1800s and even though in theory it’s far too big to use for drum recording, because of the material enough of the reflections get absorbed so you get a really nice sound,” says Healy.
The frontman has been searching for the drama in music ever since he had a musical epiphany, aged 12, when he saw a live recording of The Doors’ Light My Fire on TV. Suddenly, a whole new world opened up to the budding musician. “Maybe it was just the right place at the right time, but I was quite open to receive that kind of stuff, the intensity of it,” he remembers. “Some of it is very pretentious and of its time, but it just blew me away, the detail. This wasn’t a two-minute pop song – not that there’s anything wrong with that – this was seven or eight minutes with multiple movements and instrumental sections and solo sections, crazy chord changes. It was as if I hadn’t really understood the power of music before that, and now I realised it could be pleasant but it could also be horrifying or uplifting or scary, it could take you in any direction you want. Having that power to affect people’s emotions is a very seductive idea. It just blew me away. I’d never been affected by passively sitting in front of something like that before.”
“Intriguing oddness from Scotland” ★★★★ UNCUT
“A journey into the sublime” NME
“The Nexus of pop, prog, post-rock and shoe gaze” PROG MAGAZINE
“Stunning. Sigur Ros-meets-Flaming Lips” SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
“Bright, friendly electronics and lush Brian Wilson harmonies” METRO
“Sonic ambition” DROWNED IN SOUND
NAO’s power is in their uniqueness – they genuinely sound like no one else. And yet the sound is organic and natural. Their position outside of musical cliques is one they’re more than happy with.
1. Great Plains II
4. A Nice Little Place
6. Do Something Useful
8. Pines of Eden
10 When To Stop
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See North Atlantic Oscillation live:
21st Oct Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle
22nd Oct Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London
23rd Oct Soup Kitchen, Manchester
24th Oct Oobleck, Birmingham
Tickets for all shows on sale from:
European dates to be announced shortly