North Lakes like their rock a little on the rough side
It’s long been debated whether rock and roll and the church could ever find a fit like an OJ glove. Prince Edward Island outfit The North Lakes may have closed that case. The band has broken the mold by recording its latest album Grand Prix inside the daunting four walls of Long Creek Church.
Frontman for the band Nathan Gill says it was an acoustic dream to record in the Cornwall, PEI, church. “We recorded the bulk of our new songs in the middle of this church with high-vaulted ceilings,” says Gill, seated in his hotel in Saint John, NB. “We captured the echoing acoustics mostly through the drums, and we’re happy we were able to get that raw sound.”
The band made sure to utilize as much of the property as possible to lay Grand Prix down. They went so far as to use a basketball court located in the basement of the church to record some guitar and organ overdubs. “It was cool to get that court reverb for some tracks.”
Held up against the band’s last EP Cobra, which garnered acclaim as the 2011 PEI Alternative Rock Album of the Year, there is a noticeable difference in style and cleanliness to The North Lakes’ new offering. Evidenced on Grand Prix is a refined and re-tuned recording that gives the impression they’ve perfected their practice.
The new album defines their sound with a tightly-knit collection of 60s-styled strums that has the potential to take the listener on a auditory journey of lyrical and musical freedom. When writing songs, Gill draws from both personal experience and social observation, with a keen interest in the makers and places of history.
Talking with Gill in his hotel room, he not only provided some insight on the ontology of some of his lyrical content, but also got into how the band came to establish the desired flow of instrumentals throughout the score. “We wanted to make a stereo-type album for the house or the road, one that you could play on repeat and it would loop around itself smoothly keeping the pace up.
“It’s like in life you’re always driving forward, putting on miles, but somehow it always comes around full-circle.”
Story by Devin Size