Once in a while, we come across an artist who are a cut above the rest when it comes to musicianship. We found that today listening to 48 Degrees North’s latest single, Sleeping Alone.
Sleeping Alone is music for musicians. In the same way that. for example, Dream Theater are seen as musicians music. This is intelligent, well rehearsed, well performed and intricate music. Sadly, this kind of expertise is rarely rewarded by the public who tend to prefer the more predictable 3 chord songs and repetitive riffs, but for us and for any serious musician, 48 Degrees North are a class outfit.
Sleeping Alone is a funky/jazzy/poppy number that has some 80s vibes as well as some definite elements of jazz. It feels just a little like Johnny Hates Jazz in places. We assume that at least some of the members of 48 Degrees North are classically trained. The instrumental work in this is complex and frankly quite phenomenal.
Each instrumentalist has the opportunity to shine in this song. This is not a song which is just all about the vocalist. The bass riffs had our jaws on the floor in a couple of places, and we particularly like the panned trade off of riffs between bass in the left and piano in the right speakers. Nicely done!
The guitar solo is, again, intelligent and with some great note choices. The tone of the guitar solo feels almost Santana-like.
Plenty of rise and fall help to maintain interest for the listener together with a catchy chorus that starts to wash over you.
This is a well rehearsed outfit that are most likely spectacular in a live situation.
A couple of production notes from our part, obviously just our opinion, but we’d suggest quite a large top octave shelf to add some air and brightness to the drums and a cut around 1-2kHz to take out any nasal/boxy frequencies in the vocal track. Perhaps a little overall gain – it felt a little quieter than similar sounding commercial releases.
Its not often we get the chance to review “musicians music” and we thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity afforded to us by 48 Degrees North today. Virtuoso performances and stellar songwriting make this band an absolute delight to listen to. We wish them well.