Released on Monday 16th March to coincide with their short UK tour starting the day after, Sam Healy’s band of shimmering shapeshifters have come up with the goods again. Opening with the title track, this fine hors d’oeuvres is a great entry point into this unclassifiable group.
Glare the track was recorded at the The Third Day sessions, and is five minutes of intelligent pop, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with chattering percussion leading the electro-retro melody, with the band’s swoonsome multi-tracked vocals present and correct. This is another of those gorgeous tunes that NAO seem to find so easy, that sounds both strangely familiar and futuristic at the same time. There is a link to the track Elsewhere at the end. I do not know which came first, but there is a definite connection.
If Glare doesn’t put a spring in your step you really need to stop staring at your shoes so intently. Speaking of which, courtesy of You.Know.Who., and following Glare is a wonderful sci-fi remix of Wires. That it manages to improve on the already sparkling original from last year’s fabulous The Third Day album is testament to Steven Wilson’s talent at the mixing console.
Already showing their knack for choosing an unexpected song to cover with their more-Bob-than-Bob version of One Good Reason, next up is NAO’s take on Leonard Cohen’s Sisters Of Mercy, that unlike the Bob Mould tune takes the original somewhere else entirely, but retains Cohen’s exquisite melancholy. It works.
Closing the EP is an alternative mix by the band of the instrumental Penrose, another track from The Third Day. With a slightly fuller sound, it differs only marginally from the original.
If you know nothing about North Atlantic Oscillation, now is the time to find out, and at a mere £3, this EP is good value for money. If you are already aware of their marvellous pop, buy it anyway and go see them on the tour – see the links below.
01. Glare (5:12)
02. Wires (Steven Wilson remix) (6:25)
03. Sisters Of Mercy (4:41)
04. Penrose (alt. mix) (3:39)
Total Time – 19:56
Sam Healy – Vocals, Guitar & Keyboards
Ben Martin – Drums & Programming
Chris Howard – Bass
Record Label: Kscope
Year Of Release: 2015