It’s been a massive 12 months for Runcorn’s The Far North, the past year has seen the Americana duo release their debut single ‘This House is Ours’, which was met with heaps of support from their already growing fanbase. Their next single, ‘Runaway’, then ended up charting at Number 2 in 2 separate iTunes charts and received over 10,000 streams in less than a week. Now, after much anticipation, the duo are set to release their debut album, ‘Songs For Gentle Souls’, on the 20th November.
‘Runaway’ opens the album, featuring an emotive rock vocal which is sure to leave listeners hooked. The track was the second single to be released from the album, and it is clear to see why. ‘Runaway’ provides a clear impression of what to expect from Songs For Gentle Souls, ‘Runaway’ is written about ‘leaving the past behind and starting afresh’, a symbolic and relatable number which listeners will adore.
Next up sits ‘This House Is Ours’, the band’s debut single, a celebration of all the little things in life. The track explores ideas of giving up material possessions in favour of making memories with those who you hold close to your heart. ‘This House Is Ours’ holds a toe-tapping beat, merging that with captivating, warm vocals which blend gorgeously with its Americana tone to provide a huge impact.
‘Branches’ is a reworking of The Fireflys’ track of the same name (singer-songwriter Lee Wylding was a member), which displays even more emotion than the original. ‘Branches’ is slowed down and ends up becoming more of a folk-y ballad, the songwriting here is stunning, definitely a track that many others could only dream of writing.
The Far North’s acoustic rock capabilities spring into the limelight on ‘When We Were Young’. Filled to the brim with hope and positivity, the track feels optimistic and one that everybody needs to hear within these dark times. The original track featured on The Fireflys’ album, ‘The Illumination Of Everything’, yet The Far North’s reworking takes it to another level.
‘Compass Pointing’ sees the band excel even further. The track features incredible piano work which soars as the track progresses, with emotive and sentimental lyrics that are only made stronger by Lee’s powerful yet inviting vocals.
Colourful and inviting, ‘Stronger Together’ is wonderful. The Far North are a band well known for their intimate lyricism, and this track is no different. There is something about the vocals here which take the band above and beyond, this track emphasises vulnerability, seeing the band wear their hearts on their sleeves.
‘Sleep Tight Songbird’ is a standout track up on Songs For Gentle Souls. The melody of the track is very much reminiscent of Bob Dylan, a slow, melancholy number which feels almost eerie. Lee’s vocals upon this one are raw and emotive, making it destined to be a fan favourite.
The band tone it down a touch with ‘1994’, a slower, emotional number. Smooth instrumentation combines with raw, passionate vocals. ‘1994’ feels almost personal, as if The Far North are in fact speaking directly to you, it’s a really intimate track which listeners are destined to fall for.
Closing the album sits a gem, ‘Gentle Souls’. The title of the album is taken from this one’s lyrics, with the track itself being nostalgic towards the 70’s folk era. ‘Gentle Souls’ allows listeners time to reflect on the tracks that they heard before it, cradling the listener in its melody and the blending between the guitar and the piano is just heavenly.
From the quality of their songwriting, vocal work and instrumentation, it’s clear to see that ‘Songs For Gentle Souls’ is destined to become essential listening. Lee Wylding’s voice brings The Far North’s lyrics to life, the lyrics on this album truly stand out and create personal scenes. If you are looking for a new album to listen to this month, let it be this one, you will not regret it.