Northshore - For What It's Worth [EP]

Geordie five piece Northshore are getting ready to drop their second EP For What It's Worth next month. The group stress the importance of being proactive and open about mental health throughout the six track EP, exploring themes such as addiction and relationships. The whole EP has a summery pop-rock feel to it, a welcome embrace in this horrible cold winter.

Opening with a gorgeous broken chord melody, Northshore quickly define themselves as a modern, slightly edgier Yellowcard. When the vocals enter in opening track Be Heard, there is space for both the lead and backing singers harmonising, calling and echoing. Lyrically this track encourages listeners to speak up about their own mental health.

Dependence is has the double theme of relationships and addiction, exploring the need to have meaningless flings, when typically songs around relationship themes are all about becoming dependent on the narrator's partner. The spacing of the instruments in this track becomes extremely apparent towards the outro, showing off vocalist Ben Vickers' impressive ability to hold steady notes for several bars, while the lead guitar plays a broken chord counterpoint melody underneath, giving the effect of the song slowing down to a stop, but the tempo actually remains steady.

Lead single Shedding Skin is the first track to be released on the band's YouTube, and features female vocalist Christina Rotondo, a YouTube cover artist with over 50,000 subscribers. The song can be interpreted lyrically in a few ways; the narrator is either telling the listener about the end of their relationship and how determined they are to wait for the other person (Keep it calm and steady like a boat out at sea/One day you’ll come to realise that I will be waiting), or begging their partner to bear with them while they ride out the mental storm (Cause I’m broken and jaded, I’m burnt out, frustrated/I know this storm in my head will pass, but will you be my shelter while it lasts?) Musically the track is much more muted than the previous two.

For What It's Worth launches right in with a catchy riff, in direct contrast to the lyrical content, which is about an ex seeming to forget about the narrator. Explored here is a theme of saying the wrong thing, something many listeners will undoubtedly connect with.

Delay and reverb layered on top of an arpeggiated guitar intro immediately make the listener think of the relevant season in Summer, which sounds like it came straight out of a Skins episode. It makes the listener reminisce for the summers of their youth, drinking illegally in fields, getting to know new people and having deep conversations about who they want to be.

Final track Conspiracy begins much the same way as the rest of the EP. Again exploring relationships as the theme, this track is around a minute longer than the others. This is largely due to the longer guitar solo, which is roughly twice the length as on other tracks, as well as a key change towards the end.

Although most of the songs are pretty similar in terms of how they sound, Northshore chose their release timing well. The EP is due for release on 15th February, just after Valentine's Day, and in the middle of winter. The summery vibe and love based songs will appeal to a larger audience than just their own fan base.

will pass, but will you be my shelter while it lasts?) Musically the track is much more muted than the previous two.


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