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A Hushed Exorbitance; The Almost Unbearable Return of Northern Arms

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It’s chills time again. Northern Arms have again spread their considerable wings and the hushed exorbitant tones that result will prickle your skin like you’ve got Mahalia performing live in your living room. Recording a song – “Tear Me Away” – that amounts to nothing less than the origin story of the band themselves, a song that has lain in Keith Richard Peirce’s consciousness for over eight years and was the singular impetus for the forming of Northern Arms in the first place, the band convened in a studio – for one full day only – with Philly indie phenom producer Brian McTear to wrestle this long-gestating piece of soulful emotional rock confessional into being. The results are nothing short of revelatory (“How do we keep it from falling to pieces? / The blood won’t come up off the floor.”), essaying a moment of existential, epiphanic catharsis like very few songwriters now or ever are capable of. We really really suggest you not only listen intently to the Soundcloud link embedded below but as well explore both the ‘artist’ and ‘production’ links provided for a more complete understanding of the stakes involved not only within the song itself – and they’re intense – but as well the challenge faced in getting the thing completed and recorded within the space of a single day. This is all under the auspices of the remarkable Weathervane Music organization, a non-profit nonpareil that has intimately been documenting the bountiful, boundless fertility of the Philadelphia music scene for years now. We here at SEM would say that, once again, we’re asking you to ‘believe’ insofar as the intrinsically gothic, inimitable Americana of Northern Arms is concerned but in truth we don’t have to, since all you need to do is click on the link below, watch and wonder at the majesty that this band brings via the innate bonds of trust, friendship, and an almost divine musicality. And while doing so keep in mind perhaps the best news of all: their new album is due in the Fall and this is on it. 2015 is indeed turning out to be a lavish, quite possibly record-breaking year.