“It’s a sauced-up car with a puppet show behind the wheel.” guitarist/sampler Jon Harmon says, amalgamating everyone’s response.
A pizza pie, an automobile and a sporadic puppet display. This is how D.C.’s The North Country views their place in the musical ocean they’re dipping their toes into.
At their core, The North Country is an experimental pop collective started by lead singer Andrew Grossman in the hopes of pushing music to new places.
But since the break of Covid-19, the term “experimental pop collective” has somehow been one-uped by an efficient and mysterious entity made of absurd realism and magically rational theorization.
Initially seeing 2020 as “their year” and a chance to grasp widespread acclaim at SXSW, NoCo’s plans were halted just like everyone else’s.
Although the breaks were pulled at a time where everything possible seemed impossible, the band took to new, ordered approaches to make unlikelihood a familiar bedfellow of sorts.
“Born at the Right Time (Exquisite Corpse)” is the undoubtedly collaborative NoCo album ready to hit everyone’s ears on July 15.
Created at the height of the pandemic, this album’s sporadic and wide range sound was actually made in a process that took a hard and technical look at each musical component.
All done online, one person starts things off with an initial sound. Then they pass to someone else who does the same and then on.
With that process, the result that came to be was “Born at the Right Time (Exquisite Corpse).”
“It was cool to be on such a tight schedule,” Grossman says.
Adds bassist Austin Blanton, “It was musically in the moment and not something we initially thought of releasing.”
Rather than dismissing the strange feelings and eclectic sounds that came with this conveyor-belt recording process, The North Country took the bizarre results of their tight order and made it reflect on the similar vibes put off by isolation and quarantine.
With the pandemic, everything was monotonous yet unfamiliar. But despite unsure monotony attempting to take grasp, “Born at the Right Time (Exquisite Corpse)” is better described as incredibly intentional farcicality.
Lined with trippy electronics and occasionally accented by straight-forward indie rock guitar riffs, this album is no by means a stranger, but it is strange.
Strange in the sense that it makes so much sense yet invests so many questions within the listener.
A grand and united effort made in isolated parts, “Born at the Right Time (Exquisite Corpse)” might just be the NoCo album that subverts the narrative on remote music production.
“Born at the Right Time (Exquisite Corpse)” hit all major streaming platforms on July 15. Listen to it live at The North Country album release at DC9 on July 29. Get tickets here.
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