Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Men Of North Country - The North


Men of North Country started by chance, when soul DJ Yashiv Cohen was overheard singing along with the tunes he was playing at one of his Tel Aviv Soul Club parties. With the encouragement and eventual collaboration and of his musician friends he formed Israel’s finest soul outfit; managing to stay true to their beloved 60s soul, yet introducing a contemporary, fresh and personal twist.

In 2010 MONC signed with Acid Jazz Records, who put out their debut 7” - the double A-side single “Man of North Country / Debut” that defined the fresh soul sound of tomorrow. The single garnered glowing reviews and was met with excitement all over Europe’s mod and soul scene.

A second single, a cover version of The Human League’s - Mirror Man was a cheeky taster of what was to come, from the long awaited and exciting MONC debut album, The North. An album rippling with memorable melodies, infectious hooks and refreshingly honest lyrics which betray their love of a genre in which they truly excel.

Featuring both sides of the two previous singles, this is an album of pure quality and delight. Another tricky cover version tackled with considerable skill is the theme to the 1973 cult film, directed by Lindsay Anderson, Oh Lucky Man. Originally by Alan Price, this earthy song is given fresh breath by MONC's infectious soul treatment. Pandora (see video below) is arguably the strongest 'pop' song on the album, a catchy acoustic guitar led melodious masterpiece that any songwriter would be proud to pen. Ringtone (At The Cafs) is the instrumental Kevin Rowland used to try to write- but never quite managed.

Influenced worn with pride, Teardrop Explodes, Style Council and Dexys, but with an approving nods towards their 60s favourites, Al Wilson, Robert Parker and Gloria Jones, The North is the first truely GREAT soul album of in 2012.

Essential.

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