Northbound - Trigger Relief (EP Review)

After releasing what is easily an album of the year candidate if not the album of the year, Death Of A Slug, Jonathon Fraser released his new EP Trigger Relief on November 12. After what's been a year of listening to Death Of A Slug for me I was more than excited to hear this new EP.

Trigger Relief feels like a companion piece in a lot of ways to Death Of A Slug. Mat Kerekes (Citizen) produced, mixed, and mastered the release. Kerekes also did some work on Death Of A Slug as well. The EP artwork also has a somewhat similar look, at least in font style, to Death Of A Slug.

I'm a big proponent of Death Of A Slug. It's a self-released album that I think rivals albums that are getting big hype this year that were released by large or moderately large independent labels. I think Trigger Relief is just another reminder that Fraser feels a little like the unsigned independent gem. Fraser in the course of his career seems to be a song writing machine. His uncanny ability to write music that is both top notch musically and lyrically is pretty impressive.  "Nice Boy" is a great acoustic tune that has a heart on your sleeve mentality with lyrics that have more than a little bite to them. The brash and at times brutal lyrics just feel so ultimately real. The vocals on "Pianos" have a nice intensity to them. Mat Kerekes plays drums on the song and it gives a nice full sound. This EP captures the fall/winter feeling perfectly. "Nice Boy" is easily in the top four or five best songs I've heard in the latter part of the year. I also think it's one of the better songs Fraser has written to date.

Northbound come correct and continue to impress me. Trigger Relief is a great EP. I'd definitely recommend checking it out. It's a short EP at three songs, which breakdown to two finished songs and a demo, but all three are topnotch. Sound wise it's perfect for this time of the year. Northbound should be on your list of unsigned artists to check out!

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