steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Northern Valentine

"The Distance Brings Us Closer" CD

Silber Records

Genre: ambient, drone

Pennsylvania, USA

Feb 10, 2009

Also on Indieville: Northern Valentine select their ten crucial records!

Married duo Robert and Amy Brown comprise the hypnotic drone act Northern Valentine. The two of them have designed a mesmerizing work of ambient music with The Distance Brings Us Closer Together, a beautiful but haunting epic reminiscent of Biosphere's polar drone adventures. Surprisingly, no overdubs or post-production were involved in the record's creation, leaving only guitar, violin, keyboards, and bass. Yet, these droning, wistful passages of sound take you to a personal and isolated spot, something you might expect out of a GYBE! record.

The mournful resonance of "Born Yesterday" introduces Northern Valentine's gradual opus, inevitably followed by the pessimistic "Dies Solid," which leaves the listener slightly unsettled by way of its hollow drone. This is peaceful music meant for dark rooms, although in all its calm it still makes a strong emotional impact. Also splendidly intense is "Escaping Light," which adds a sporadic bassline and some eerie keys to its slow-moving core. Finally, the psychedelic guitar swirls of "Already Gone" make for a deeply hypnotic finale to the record, enveloping the listener in a mellow bliss until it slowly fades out. As the disc reaches its end, a notion flutters into consciousness and makes itself heard: The Distance is an absolutely stunning work of drone music.

northern valentine's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]