Northern Passages by The Sadies

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan

This is the tenth studio album from those countrified fellas from north of the border in Canada. This is loosely classified as country music since The Sadies do some serious genre jumping on Northern Passages. At times, I hear The Byrds, The Smithereens, Husker Du, and Flying Burritos. But through it all, it is The Sadies that jumps in front and center. If you like your California style country, don’t get nervous. God Bless The Infidels (Track 7) has got you covered. A perfect melding of old time country with beautiful harmonies and some acid tinged guitars.

Another Season (Track 2) is pure rave-up and bursting with noise and energy. It is part Husker Du and part Smithereens. Even through the cacophony of sound, the phenomenal vocals and harmonies come through quite clearly. A clear display of musical talent as well as superb production and mixing abilities.

Those harmonies and California sound also shows up on Riverview Fog (Track 1)This sounds more like the Byrds than the Byrds did. It is a beautiful number that perfectly captures the country music and the late 60s psychedelic sound. This is so authentic that if I said it was released in 1969, no one would question it. In fact, it was released a little over a month ago, but the Sadies are expert craftsmen and constructed a song that could be current in two eras. Not an easy feat at all to accomplish.

I am amazed at the creativity that has to be present to record album number ten and have it still sound fresh and unique. The Sadies did. They pulled off what is nearly impossible to do. I would like to know their secret. Check it out for yourself and thank me later.

Listen and buy Northern Passages on Bandcamp

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