North

North
  1. The City Failed

    0:00
  2. May Your Days Be Gold

    0:00
  3. New House

    0:00
  4. Fracture

    0:00
  5. Thoughts of Alice

    0:00
  6. Run Home

    0:00
  7. Life Support

    0:00
  8. Your Silence is the Loudest Sound

    0:00
  9. This is Not an Ending

    0:00
  10. The Fields Remember my Father

    0:00
  11. Missing Photos

    0:00
  12. Nothing Stays the Same, Nothing Ever Ends

    0:00
  13. You are Stars

    0:00
  14. Blue and White Flowers

    0:00
  15. Onwards

    0:00

Graham Richardson's Last Days project returns with it's latest full-length The Safety of the North. Richardson has fully embraced his cinematic tendencies, expanding his creative palette to include spoken excerpts, a vocal collaboration with Fabiola Sanchez of Familiar Trees, and a "script-based" compositional approach. Drawing on a theme first explored in Sea's "Arrival at Jan Mayen" (in which its sailor is first excited by the prospect of a distant island home, then disappointed by its barren terrain), The Safety of the North tells the story of Alice, her parents and their relocation to a remote northern land. Disappointed with the trappings of the city, they wish for a simpler, more rewarding way of life. Their arrival promises clean air, miles of snow covered fields surrounded by forests and mountains but above all, safety and a protected existence. As dark as it is light, the Safety Of The North explores relationships, loss, recovery and how hope is the only certainty in life.. With a strict script in mind, Richardson divided the album into 15 "scenes," scoring each with a new focus on the emotional states of his characters and the settings they inhabit. Using the same tools he employs on his previous albums (i.e. field recordings, song titles, and album art), along with snippets of dialogue, monologue and more diverse instrumentation, Richardson guides the listener through Alice’s initial departure, hopeful beginnings and eventual tragedy in what may be Last Days most melodic work to date.


Boomkat
The Safety Of The North quickly sheds its conceptual baggage, winning you over with its clearly defined emotional poise and all-round compositional elegance. This third Last Days album is quite an achievement and surely one of the very finest things the n5MD label has released in some time. Highly recommended.

[sic] magazine
As this quite marvelous journey reaches its pinnacle it struck me how much I had invested in this record, from its hopeful beginnings, to the apprehension I felt when things didn't seem right, through to the overall empathy or hope I felt towards Alice. This is clearly down to the strength of Richardson's writing, an ability that has the listener wrapped in the intricacies of his ‘script' much like that of a film.

 Cokemachineglow
It's difficult not to connect with The Safety of the North; it truly is. In one way it's a huge helping of snowblind delight, cubes of brilliance flashing the way Ulrich Schnauss used to. In others, it's something more perilous: a wide, rumbling desert becomes submarine beauty

Cyclic Defrost
On one of the albums most charming and effective pieces, "Thoughts of Alice", Neamh Rose Breen's child-like spoken-word gambit, set against a solemn organ refrain and cool atmospherics, lends the piece a portentous feel. Its promises are made good through the remaining pieces, a series of elaborations and extensions on these unresolved sentiments, which make this Richardson's most accomplished work yet.

Textura
The sixty-five-minute collection merges field recordings, vocal elements, acoustic instruments, and electronics into a narrative whole that's never less than engaging and often powerfully affecting in its humanistic character. 

San Francisco Bay Guardian
...Further trials and pitfalls appear deeper into the disc, but The Safety Of The North ends with a particularly gorgeous -- and rather optimistic -- touch with “Onwards.” Opening with the gurgles of a rushing stream and the call-and-response of countless birds, the track carefully, incrementally adds layers of synth, xylophone, and guitars to a pulsing martial beat--- soon enough strings and horns (or, I'm guessing from the liner notes, an impressive electronic imitation thereof) join the crashing, cascading mix. Misty-eyed majesty, certainly, and a potent end-note for Richardson.

Buy at n5MD             itunes               Amazon UK               Amazon US             Juno Records                  Darla                     emusic