Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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L.A.@SXSW: Great Northern

March 2, 2009 |  4:54 pm

Pop & Hiss will covering the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas, from March 18-22. Most of our time there will be spent chasing down bands that don't live in our own backyard, so in the days leading up to the industry event, we'll be looking at some noteworthy locals heading to Texas.

Who: Great Northern

What to listen to: Take your pick of any of the three songs the band is streaming online from the forthcoming "Remind Me Where the Light Is," due April 28 from Eenie Meanie Records. They all see the dream-pop band moving into darker, more atmospheric -- and more ambitious -- territory.

Start with "Warning," where Rachel Stolte's vocals rise with the tension of the music, bringing Solon Bixler's lost-in-the-wilderness guitars out from a layer of skittering electronic beats and into a full-on, fuzz-drenched anthem. Or listen to "Houses," below, which takes a more direct approach, but sees Great Northern getting plenty of mileage out of a piercingly simple riff. It's a bit removed from the sound that you may have heard in a car commercial, but "Story," available here, shows the act hasn't lost its lighter pop touch -- just wrapped it with a bit more aggression.

They're playing Austin: On March 20 at 1 a.m. at the Karma Lounge, but they'll be playing the Silverlake Lounge on March 16.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates from Austin.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Magnum PR