The Capsules

Coming all the way from Kansas this three piece are about the release their latest album, taking on a slightly different stance.

What we have here is an interesting blend of 80’s electro, with vocals somewhere between Strawberry Switchblade and I couldn’t help but think a little Portishead (but I am not sure why!). Now this in itself might be enough to put some listeners off, as the bubblegum pop aspect of Julie’s voice will not be to everyone’s taste. Yet it’s clarity and consistency perfectly flows with the music, perhaps a little to well.

The album opens with the unashamedly electro “Across the Sky”, with it’s automated beats and sequenced backdrop, unlike “From the Start” which drops the tempo, and the vocals take on a gentler approach.

Interestingly “Our Apocalypse” has a harsher backdrop, still undeniably electro, but has the edge taken off with the soft vocals. This is followed by the more pop orientated “With Signs Repeating”, where I particularly liked the “glitchy” electronic toy samples towards the tracks closing.

With “Heartbreaker” the obvious parallels can start to be drawn, as the track opens it could almost be mistaken for a recent remix of “Moments In Love” by the Art of Noise (I just got their recent compilation so it’s fresh in my mind), however this only provides a faint backdrop to the track as they bring their own mix of sounds to the front.

“Test Drive To The Other Side” seems to borrow heavily from either Trans Europe Express or Autobahn (I am still a little undecided on that one!).

Throughout the whole introspective journey that “Northern Lights & Southern Skies” takes you on I naturally assumed they were a British band, a rather myopic attitude I admit. But at no point did it occur to me that they were not even European. Hailing from Kansas this three piece have managed to pay homage to some tremendous European acts, and yet produce an album they can proudly call their own.

The Capsules

They describe themselves as dream/pop, not that their influences would tell you anything about this latest offering. Now, I don’t really like the “pop” tag, but I kind of get it. Is this popular music? I’m not sure, but the tag fits. If I had to criticise them the stand out concern would be Julie’s vocal, technically I cannot fault them (hell I cannot even hit a note if I tried!). Although they flow perfectly with the music, it is this flow that is their downfall, as they sometimes blend so well that you don’t listen to the lyrics, but just let the sounds wash over you.

I enjoyed this album, and it has seen a number plays over the last few weeks. It is a journey I like, and the electronica and homages tick the right boxes for me.

Line Up
Julie Shields
Jason Shields
Kevin Trevino

Across The Sky
From The Start
Our Apocalypse
With Signs Repeating
The Heartbreaker
Time Will Only Tell
Test Drive The Other Side
Where It All Begins
All At Once
Magnetic Fields


Words by Jon.

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