ARTIST PROFILE|THIS WAY NORTH

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BY SEAN O’GRADY

 

Local duo This Way North featuring Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy have just released their new single Pressure and will be heading out on the road in support of it starting tonight at The Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood. The new single and the duo’s previous release Head Above Water signify a departure from their self titled debut EP, which is a more bare to the bones rock sound.

 

Shifting focus to a more pop sound Pressure has an insistent penetrating groove and is one of the best local releases this year. With a deep resonating bassline and lithe synth loops This Way North have added more beat to their musical bones. Leisha and Cat met at a music festival in Canada and having immersed themselves in the local musical community headed to Toronto to work with producer Derek Downham.

 

Cat recently spoke to The Northsider and I asked her about the new approach to their songs and how that came about.

 

“We went over to Toronto in July last year to do some recording, the songs had a more pronounced pop sound than the songs that were on our EP, and that was something we both really enjoyed I really love playing upbeat, uptempo tunes so for me as a drummer I find it really enjoyable to arrange songs in that pop sense. Derek approached it with the idea that we draw the songs out in a big way and make it more pronounced than the bluesier things we had done in the past.”

 

In our fast paced lives we all face moments where the demands on juggling relationships and career can become overwhelming and Pressure delves into those feelings and the necessity to escape even if only for a brief moment. I asked Leisha what inspired Pressure from a lyrical perspective.

 

“I wrote it at time when I was juggling a lot of things, I was teaching full time, playing AFL football on the weekend and training during the week. I was also trying to do music, play as much as we could and there was also pressure in trying to keep up relationships. I reached the point where it was getting to much and I wanted to get away from it all and that’s where the song came from.”

 

Pressure and Head Above water represent a significant sonic departure for This Way North and I asked Leisha what influenced that change.

 

“We were ready to move into a different sphere, we were interested to see sonically what we could do as a duo in that alt-pop sphere. We were listening to a lot of music from bands like War On Drugs, Glass Animals, Alt J we love that shimmering, driving pop sound. The songs came together pretty organically in a short space of time.”

 

I asked Cat and Leisha what the future held after they had finished touring the new single, “we are heading back to Toronto later in the year to work with Derek on some more material for another EP. We want to build more material and continue to tour and connect with our audience.”

 

This Way North play tonight at the Gasometer Hotel doors open at 8pm, see details below.

 

http://www.thegasometerhotel.com.au

 

 

 

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