Review by Vince Leigh
Northbourne Flats has been steadily developing their sound and style since 2005, recording and performing shows and establishing a healthy fan base.
New single Kindred Spirit is an easy to digest epic meditation on personal discovery recorded in the wake of the 2020 Australian bushfires and the COVID lockdown. The band channels an appreciable list of influences, carrying through its rock-based veins the brooding guitar tendencies of nineties grunge as well as the virtuous strains of blues roots, creating a multi-dimensional aura that’s as gentle as it can be hypnotically strident.
“I’ve been wandering through this life, wondering if the choice was mine,” the opening announces. Eventually, the observer revels in the state of exploration, as the sonic bedding underpinning this declaration quite aptly mirrors.
The song fluctuates to the aforementioned genres without any noticeable bumps, kicking off with a low-key groove that makes way for the equally restrained verses, the vocalist’s cadences convincingly maintaining that earthy low register while outlining broad and hefty concerns.
The transition into the chorus is clean, marked by a pause and a drum fill that dutifully readies the listener for what’s to come.
And that’s a chorus containing a good balance of surprise and anticipation, with a long wail that floats down to the lower regions again.
A not-so-anticipated segment follows the second chorus, a bridge that employs an acoustic guitar and a cathedral of simmering voices, providing an opportunity for the listener to do their own spot of contemplation. This is also where the folk side of the outfit makes an appearance, vaguely reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, it initiates the start of the endpoint of the track; the dip down into this melancholic vista an affirming aspect of the band’s resourcefulness, a penchant for delving into the outer regions of their adopted styles with confidence and discernment.
Look out for this track, it’s worthy of a few attentive listens.