August 10, 2011

North Highlands - "Benefit"

From the furious rhythmic riff in "Sugar Lips" to the arpeggiated mandolin in "Steady Steady," Brooklyn outfit North Highlands have demonstrated themselves to be a fantastic guitar band. Never settling for the simple chord, the group's play is instead a dynamic tapestry of overlapping riffs and motifs. However, in new single "Benefit" off the band's forthcoming Wild One LP, the show belongs to singer Brenda Melvi. Sure, there are tornadoes of guitars dancing around at every opportunity, but it's Melvi that's in the driver's seat here. Steady and clear-eyed, she deeply intones as fact in the verse, "I want more than I need." That sentiment is then contrasted in the chorus with the line "Take what you want / Take it, take it off," sung in a higher register with an emotive vulnerability. Yes, the song appears to be about sex, and yes, it's a beautiful one. Look out for Wild One this Fall.

North Highlands - "Benefit"

North Highlands - "Steady Steady"
North Highlands - "Sugar Lips"

North Highlands

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