The Northern Coast: Folk-rock and juicy blues

Monday 13th, February 2017 / 20:05
By Alex Meyer

The Northern Coast follow up on packing out the house at BIG with a release party at Nite Owl.
Photo: Paige Woodbury

CALGARY — Arron Crook always knew he had a lot of songs to sing. A little serendipity brought him together with guitarist Hunter Hansen and, over beers at the Ship & Anchor, they planted the seeds of what would be The Northern Coast. “We talked to each other about what we wanted with our music and we immediately clicked,” Crook explains. From there they began to jam and right away came up with first single, “Georgia Moon,” a song propelled by thick bluesy guitar tones and Crook’s charming and powerful voice. “We got together to jam and our first session together we made a song and a vision of what we wanted to do,” Hansen agreed.

Acting as each other’s muses and equipped with a voice and a guitar, they fleshed out their ideas and began painting a grand musical vision of life in the north in all its raw beauty. And while that may be construed as something cold and unforgiving, there is a warmth borne from a well of deep passion found in Crook’s rustic yet resonant voice and Hansen’s smooth and melodious guitar. These songs were initially acoustic, folksy skeletons. Both Hansen and Crook heard the blasting blues rock that dwelt at each song’s heart. And It wasn’t until drums, bass and a load of amps were added that they blossomed into what they had envisioned from the beginning.

On February 17th The Northern Coast release their debut EP Revelry, a six-song voyage through the heart of the prairie sea. It’s an EP that celebrates life and all it gives you, from heartbreak to euphoria. “You can’t know what life will do but, this EP is just about revelling in all of it, we went through a lot while writing and recording this and it’s about really embracing it all,” Crook smiles. It’s with that heart-on-your-sleeve bravado The Northern Coast has sailed its way through the burgeoning Calgary music scene. It’s been nearly two years in the making, and the time spent forming their sound and honing their vision was well spent. They understand there is no half-assing, that what is given is earned. With that in mind they went out recorded with Kirill Telichev, who had previously worked with Calgary staples The Dudes and HighKicks.

Their February release is merely the first stepping-stone to what they wish to achieve. Already they’re working with Josh G Williams at OCL Studios for their first full-length production. They also have extensive touring planned later in 2017 after performing at Calgary’s BIG Winter Classic.

Along with their single “Georgia Moon,” Revelry is stacked with a varied collection of folk-rock tracks steeped in a juicy blues. The punchy and pounding “Fickle” flows into a heartfelt portrait of loss in “Rusted Love,” a song that ripples with intensity. Bounding from that emotional high it moves into “Just Rattle,” a track with a driving throb that courses its way down an empty prairie highway. It finishes with the swaying, playful “Animal,” that is both relatable and self-effacing. All of these tracks are propelled by Crook’s sonorous voice and Hansen’s slick and crisp guitar notes. “I think it’s a good representation of what we like to think of as The Northern Coast sound,” Hansen conveys. It’s a tight, complete bundle of songs that comes in just under 20 minutes. They’ve been sitting on the release for quite some time and are excited to share it with Calgary and beyond. In the meantime, they intend on perfecting their already emotional and bombastic live show that thrums with energy.

The Northern Coast release Revelry with a party at Nite Owl on February 17th.

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