A Northern Chorus

Music Reviews A Northern Chorus
A Northern Chorus

Slo-glo fuzz is back. Or it never got the telegram announcing its demise. Or the news never made it to Canada. Or A Northern Chorus didn’t care.

The clanging cathedral bells on “Watershed Divide”—a protracted prelude to the mournful “Prisoners of Circumstance”—are merely suggested. But the militaristic drum rolls on “Costa Del Sol,” are actually there, snapping away beneath the frothy mix.

As this record tiptoes to the fridge for a post-midnight parfait, it catches its reflection and sees the sort of decadent grandiosity heard in theatrical post-Bowie British pop. But music like this moves more gracefully on tiptoe. Bitter Hands Resign eulogizes humanity’s most hopeless hopes and lifts up its pulverizing regrets, but eschews self-importance. Elegant sadness never rousts the neighbors.

Don’t file this away with the latest bundle of anemic My Bloody Valentine throwbacks. With rain damage and coffee rings, Bitter Hands Resign will only grow more elegant.

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