Melbourne duo This Way North releases its latest EP Vol. 2: a must-have soundtrack for weekend road-trips and weeknight lounge-room dance parties.
Recorded over two stints in Toronto, Canada during 2016 and 2017 with producer Derek Downham (Eagles of Death Metal, Broken Social Scene, Holy F*ck), EP Vol. 2 is a six-song collection that showcases the band’s evolution from the rootsy rock of 2016’s EP Vol. 1, to a new realm of luscious, groove-laden alt-pop and synth-rock.
Absorbed in the expansive energy of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla’s performances, it’s easy to forget that This Way North is a two-piece band. It’s a unique fullness of sound that follows the pair effortlessly from the studio to the stage. The release follows a bustling 2017 during which the duo played over 120 live shows across Australia, New Zealand and Canada including the Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon, just 200kms south of the Artic Circle; a spot at Wide Open Space festival, in the Northern Territory’s sweeping central desert; and a trip to stunning Vancouver Island for Atmosphere Gathering.
The driving cross-rhythms and harmony-rich vocals of lead single ‘Nothing to Say’ sets the tone for the EP. The beautifully arranged and sometimes ethereal yet upbeat, melodic gem captures the essence of wanting to just be still and unwind. Written about waking up in the morning and getting out of your head. Sometimes we spend too much time talking about problems when we just need to be still and move through them. Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Nothing To Say’ video release – out Friday 6 April.
Track ‘Head Above Water’ stands out with its mid-noughties-tinged guitar riffs, sun-drenched lyrics and a rolling drone that begs to carry you downstream with it, while ‘Make It Work’ dances between funk-infused call-and-response and the kind of sing-a-long refrain that’s been known to fill arenas. Second single ‘Pressure’ is dirty, 80s inspired pop at its best, complete with palm-muted guitar stabs and a resplendent, reverb-drenched bridge that picks you up before the chorus drops. It’s an EP that perfectly encapsulates what This Way North is all about: great music, great company and seriously fun times.
The idea of home is a constantly-evolving notion for Cat and Leisha, having both experienced country Victorian childhoods; stints in the big smoke of Melbourne; around-the-globe adventures both solo and together; and, now, the nomadic life on the road with no fixed address. But one thing is evident in hearing their records and watching them perform: their home is on the stage. Whether in a local dive bar or at a national festival. This Way North plays with more passion and energy than a 10-piece band, and it’s a euphoria that’s contagious. Big, rhythmic, spacious and saturated with summer, EP Vol. 2 will have you moving in the blink of a drumbeat, whether you want to or not.
The release of EP Vol. 2 will be followed by a national Australian tour. This Way North will spend March playing all over Western Australia before dropping by South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland between April and May.
National tour dates:
Fri 2 Mar – Beer Farm, Margaret River WA
Sat 3 Mar – Caves Hotel, Yallingup WA
Sun 4 Mar – The Carine, North Perth WA
Thu 8 Mar – The Rosemont Hotel, WA
Sat 10 Mar – The Canon Ball, Buffalo Club, Fremantle WA
Sun 11 Mar – Caves Hotel, Yallingup WA
Wed 14 Mar – El Grotto, Scarborough WA
Fri 16 Mar – The Basso, Bassendean WA
Sat 17 Mar – Nukara Festival, Nukara WA
Sun 18 Mar – Geraldton Hotel, Geraldton WA
Fri 6 Apr – The Grace Emily, Adelaide SA
Fri 13 Apr – Courthouse Youth Arts Center, Geelong VIC
Sat 14 Apr – Bahas, Rye VIC
Thu 26 Apr – Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney NSW
Sat 28 Apr – Paddock Sessions, Wollombi NSW
Thu 3 May – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, NSW
Fri 4 May – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane QLD
Sat 5 May – Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD
Sat 12 May – Culburra Beach Festival, Wollongong NSW
Sat 19 May – Tanswells Band Room, Beechworth VIC
Thu 24 May – The Workers Club, Melbourne VIC