We review the latest single from NORTH – MANCHESTER

North return with their second single ‘MANCHESTER’ in what can only be described as a true love letter to the city.

After a debut release ‘Recovery’ back in April which detailed the throws of addiction and recovery, the band – aptly hailing from North Manchester – continues in a similarly candid vein in this new track.

Running at just over three-and-a-half-minutes in length, ‘MANCHESTER’ is certainly shorter than its predecessor, but even in half the time North still manages to get both style and substance in the mix here. It feels like an ode to the rain city. A flow of consciousness. Littered with local lyrical references from “The Chameleons”, “Northside”, “the noise in the stands” and a particular Mancunian “ambition to stand so tall” – there’s an element of wistfulness for the past mixed with a great deal of optimism for the future with vocalist Stuart Wolfenden wondering aloud…

“Is the city still as cool as it was meant to be? / Are we still as cool as we used to be?”

It’s true that Manchester has seen its hefty share of change and challenge over the years. From countless skyscrapers popping up on the horizon in waves of gentrification, a varied and colourful musical history, and undeniable tragedy. They’ve weathered the storm.

Wolfenden’s vocals range from sweetly tentative to self-assured. Steady in pace, the track’s production is understated. A crooning guitar riff is laced throughout which softly cuts through against a punchy drumbeat. There’s no big build. No crashing crescendo. (There is a pretty ace little guitar solo around the 2:45 mark). But maybe this track doesn’t need all that. The track marches on, steadily and surely, onwards and upwards. As the city does too. Together.