Friday, February 21, 2014

New Music from NO

LA based band NO has been on my radar for awhile now, after a serendipitous listening session I had on Daytrotter from last year. Shortly after, I caught the band live at the Troubadour and knew they were headed for great things - the tiny stage at the Troubadour is too small for where these guys are going.

After touring all year in support of their debut EP "Don't Worry, You'll Be Here Forever," this week the band released their first full length album, "El Prado" (on label Arts & Crafts). The album includes a few of the tracks off their debut EP ("Another Life," "There's a Glow" and "Stay With Me") where they've refined the rawness and added in some nice production quality, but without overdoing it.

A 13 track album that clocks in at almost a full hour, it flows seamlessly from track to track, purposefully so at times, with interludes and connections between songs. But don't let that smooth flow fool you- this is an album that rocks, period. It kicks off with the forceful "Leave the Door Wide Open" and keeps kicking throughout. "Monday" gives a nod to the 80's new wave sound without being cheesy, managing to make it sound organic to them by keeping the sound updated. "North Star" shows a darker, melancholic side of the band, and a few tracks (like "Hold On") are all of these things at once.

Anthemic and haunting without being over the top or pretentious, it's an album with a solid, rock vibe polished from show after show on the road. Lead singer Bradley Hanan Carter's vocals are deep and have been compared to Matt Berninger of The National, and while there are some similarities in vocal tones, Bradley's vocals are much more melodic. It's his deep, pained-yet-directed voice that leads each song forcefully throughout on this stellar album.

You can buy "El Prado" on Amazon and iTunes.

More NO band here:
NO on Daytrotter
NO at the Troubadour
NO on my Labor Day Mix
More pics from NO live at the Troubadour

Check out NO covering Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" (via Cover Me Songs):

NO on the web and on Twitter.

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