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The Magnetic North

There are two types of scare – the sudden heartstopping fright that comes with a slasher movie and the still

eeriness of something far more real: the supernatural. This debut album by The MagneticNorth

North is the second type, and more lasting for it; unsettlingly and beautifully calm at the same time. North

It’s hardly surprising for a band that only exist because a ghost told them to, visiting Erland Cooper of Erland & the

Carnival in a dream to tell him to return to his homeland of Orkney and make a record. North

She (Betty Corrigall, a local in the 1770s until she killed herself)
even gave him a list of track names.

With Carnival bandmate Simon Tong and orchestral arranger Hannah
Peel, the three headed far north to create what feels

like a folk score to a forgotten Hitchcock film, set in the middle of nowhere, complete with fingers rapping

on the windowpane (on ‘The Black Craig’) and Wickerman devilish chants (‘Orphir’). It’s frightening, oddly seductive and often quite brilliant.

Oh, he’s singing about summer and missing his girlfriend. North

How orig…hang on, is that a disco beat in ‘Take the L to Leave’? Shit, it’s
gone again.

But those guitars – lofi but lush, like a bunch of crooked wind chimes falling down a tree.

And this Chaz Bundick guy sounds a bit like that Ariel Pink
dude, but with none of the kooky nonsense and all of the warmth
and vulnerability.

Not bad at all.North

I do sometimes feel like I’m listening to the aural equivalent of
a Hipstamatic Facebook photo

album, but I’m kind of hooked – hooked because of the melodies.
And this is the guy who made

‘Underneath the Pine’? Might have to go back and listen to that a
bit more – this record’s way too short.

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