Northern American, Jonathan Weiss, DJ Syntax

Northern American

“Go ahead and thank Northern American for songs to go with your ice-cold beer beside the pool and go down with that warm whiskey as you look over L.A’s nightscape” Buzzbands LA

On paper Northern American should be Los Angeles’ most glamorous new band. This is a group whose first live outing saw them providing the soundtrack whilst models paraded up and down the catwalk of a local fashion show. Step outside the band’s studio and you’ll find yourself on the set of Rush Hour or any other number of Hollywood blockbusters. And you don’t need to listen too hard to feel the sun warming the back of your neck, urging you to reach for your shades. Yet if there’s one thing Heist Or Hit’s newest signings will prove it’s that not everything is black or white.

“We don’t get into the city grind, we’re more in tune with nature,” reveals singer/guitarist Nate Paul eschewing expectations. “I live pretty close to the Griffith Observatory and hike there every morning; there are so many different places to hang out.”

Northern American’s concerns may not lie with Tinseltown but Los Angeles is buried deep within their genetic make-up. More in keeping with the laid back tones of fellow California dwellers Mazzy Star, Jonathan Wilson, or contemporary peers Local Natives and Autolux, to take this band away from their home would be like extracting an essential organ. Shot through shimmering sun-kissed melodies of reverb-laden guitar, the band’s lyrics have been set within the city landscape ever since Nate first met Shane Alch (keys) at high school; two 15-year-old guys who simply dressed the same and found common ground over their love of music;

That moment sparked a move from the city suburbs to the City of Angels itself; a musician’s playground of recording studios, new faces and a whole world of unpredictability at their feet. Through mutual friends, emails were exchanged and a jamming session set up with Augusto Vega (bass) and Bruno Calenda (drums) - immediately Northern American’s line-up was completed.

Whilst most artists have their own roles to play within their band, Northern American is a fully collaborative project with all band members contributing lyrics, melody, and rhythm to the process.

This ‘weird thing’ has already had a remarkable response. Mixed by Norm Block, the band’s Happiness Hungover EP was released in L.A. earlier this year. Before long, appearances at Echo Park Rising and Chinatown’s Moon Festival, The Echo ensued. Described as “deliciously smooth” by tipster blog LA Buzzbands and with transatlantic radio support in the UK from BBC6music to Amazing Radio, word quickly spread ahead of the band’s debut single ‘Wander’ which was released worldwide through UK label Heist Or Hit in early 2014.

In mid 2014, the band started a collaboration with Local Natives producer Raymond Richards, recording their debut full-length album in his L.A. studio. The album is slated for worldwide release in early 2015.

Jonathan Weiss

Jonathan grew up in the West LA area playing in bands, performing absurd dance pieces, and spearheading the national anarchist coalition known as "The Silly Hat Party" which reached its zenith in 2008. He spent some time traveling around the US and living in New Orleans, gaining musical chops. He has played in venues from California to New Orleans to Argentina. He is in the middle of his education at Oberlin College in Ohio.

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