Volebeats – Up North – Cassette
Up North is the debut album by the American alternative country band The Volebeats. It was released in 1993 and showcases the band’s blend of country, folk, and rock influences.
The Volebeats’ sound on “Up North” is characterized by twangy guitars, rich harmonies, and a laid-back, rootsy vibe. The album features a mix of original songs and covers, with a particular emphasis on classic country and folk-rock stylings.
Songs like “Up North,” “Rubber Soul,” and “Hope You Know” capture the band’s warm and melodic sound, drawing inspiration from both traditional country music and the alternative country movement of the time.
The Volebeats’ Up North is a folky, country record that’s inviting and likable in its simple and uncomplicated presentation. Songs of longing, such as “Back in Your Heart,” are driven with the locomotive shuffle of brushes on a snare, and garnished with the lonesome cry of a lap steel or Matthew Smith’s single tremolo lead guitar lines.
But what really elevates this record is songwriting that is ripe with memorable melodic content and an acute sense of lyrical phrasing. Just as important is the way in which the two principle writers and singers Jeff Oakes and Smith work off of each other vocally. Whether in unison or tight harmony, together or in counterpart fashion, their voices, backed by the low-key instrumentation, create a mood that captivates and brings these deceptively simple songs to life.
“Up North” received positive reviews upon its release, praised for its authentic and heartfelt approach to roots music. It established The Volebeats as a notable presence in the alternative country scene and laid the foundation for their subsequent releases.
If you enjoy Americana, alt-country, or the intersection of folk and rock, exploring The Volebeats’ Up North is recommended. It offers a nostalgic and evocative listening experience, with a touch of the timeless sounds of classic country music.
Brand new, never played and still in the factory plastic
Safe House Records
1. Up North
3. When You Are There
4. Rode Into Town
5. I’m The One For You
6. Ten Cars Back
7. Back In Your Heart
8. First Time Next Time, The
9. Rubber Soul
10. Please Come See Me
11. Something Broken
12. More And More
13. Hope You Know