While perusing the depths of the internet (Don't worry. I didn't go too far down the rabbit hole) I happened upon an interesting sound. After much investigation (I looked to the top of the page), I found the source of the harmonic resonance to be that of Northern Abbey's self-titled EP.
Now, there isn't much that I could find out about this band/project, but it was intriguing enough to write a review on it despite it's extremely short composition. However, it's a complex, refreshing, and cinematic experience despite the length.
This experimental EP was written and produced by Nick Lambert of Falling Up. Jordan Wood contributed the drums, bass, stomps, and claps while Eric Stanwell played the violin and cello. Jessy Ribordy, also a member of Falling Up and The River Empires, engineered and mixed the EP while too contributing to the claps and stomps. And, it seems as though Wikipedia is slacking because that is literally all I could find out about the band. Anyway, onward to the track breakdown!
The album begins with Catacombs which is a complex and celestial track. The song leads in with a delayed yet soothing piano while electronic influences accompany it soon after. Lambert introduces his voice about a minute in and continues with very repetitive lyrics. Despite the monotonous melody, his vocals are extremely euphonious and most certainly add to the beauty and allure of the track. However, the song does pull a M. Night Shyamalan at 3 minutes and 45 second. The listeners are lead to believe the song is over as it breaks off into silence, but after waiting 25 more seconds, a strange static tapping interrupts the dead air and an explosion of distorted, electronic instrumentals finish the track out.
Following Catacombs is the classical instrumental, Wayward Village. This song is introduced by a sharp violin that is then accompanied by the light plucking of cello strings. A minute in, a piano joins the two and blends in seamlessly with the melody. Two thirds of the way into the song, the classical theme is transformed by the addition of a bass and drum with heavy metal influences which then leads the track to its finality. It's a very interesting take on classical music regardless of the track's length and simplicity.
And last, but not least—in fact most, for that matter—is Paintings. This song finally gives Lambert's vocals some credit. His voice is carried through a ballroom echo (I just made that term up, but it sounds intelligent and makes sense in my mind) and holds a relatively high octave. It's a pretty bare track in terms of its instrumental expansiveness, but the acoustic guitar and slightly oriental influences mix to add a surreal and soothing sound. The track finishes the EP leaving the listener feeling calm yet craving more.
This orchestral album carries an intriguing melody and a few surprises that captivates the audience. It's a short EP, but the complexity and original choice of instruments cannot be overlooked. Although the vocals are repetitive, their unique resonance helps them hold their ground among the instrumentals. In my opinion, Northern Abbey gives you a taste that leaves a lingering appetite. I hope that the band continues this endeavor and releases a longer EP or album in the near future because it's definitely gained my attention.