Reviews

True North by The Act Americana Trio, A Rich Country Jam With Multi-Layered Meanings

From Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, The Act Americana Trio share exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment about their newest realease, True North: “True North is the lead single of the EP we released with the same name. Initially we got together, the three of us, to write and book gigs. We also had made plans with a Vancouver studio for the recording process. Then the pandemic happened and we had to pivot or give up. Of course, it wasn’t the latter. We pooled our collective talents and did everything remotely, from guitar and dobro to piano and resonator. The songs we chose try to evoke optimism in the face of uncertainty to describe the struggle to find something (or someplace) better when where we’re at isn’t cutting it.

The Act Americana Trio employ Country music on their single True North as a vessel to self-discovery and authentic joy in finding one’s call whereas Country is usually regarded as a means to dive into hearbreak, love, and apparent issues. A promising record from a marvellous trio.

The first moments, peppered with melancholy and a tad of romanticism resounding from the musical instruments, create the foundational template for the vibe of True North. The lead singer, with a friendly, warm voice adds a narrator-like flair to his delivered lyrics: Wake up to the AM band/ Talking heads chatterin’/ I ain’t buying into this again/ Pack up my duffel bag/ Settle up my motel tab/ Gas ‘er up, I’m never coming back. The precision of visual elements chosen to instill the mood into the listener’s mind is a major part of what makes up the magical character of the single. And albeit it being a verse, it is irefutably catchy and written by bonafide songwriters who don’t leave anything to chance.

Let true north lead me home/ Before the sun gets too low/ True north true north lead me home (x2), follows the magnificent chorus of the record. A flagrant earworm and an endearing call to inner faith, the hook section presents itself as a more dynamic variant compared to the verse for it features multiple supporting voices, female ones included. Our favorite bit is the hook consisting of 3 lines instead of the usual 4-bar pattern universally used in choruses. This is achieved effortlessly with a neat pause during the 3rd line thus extending itself over 2 bars.

The second verse further advances the story of our main character in the same vein of elaborate imagery and musical pattern: Pull up to the border shack/ Roll my window down a crack/ And answer all the questions that they ask. A beautiful variation occurs right here in the note motif thus confering more liveliness to the second part of the verse: Open road…what’s up ahead?/ I wonder where I’m being led?/ Take me anywhere but where I’ve been.

The chorus precedes the bridge which is neither monotone nor fired up. It’s a sweet, spiritual spot of waving good bye to your past life enforced by the tranquil approach of the instrumental: Frozen prairie, all around me, far as I can see/ All my troubles far behind me, suddenly I’m free. During the little bridge there is another peculiar phenomenon that maybe wasn’t exactly intentional: the use of the word frozen is highly antagonistic to the freedom gained by one leaving his/her comfort zone. While we don’t know the intent sought behind this choice of words, the end effect is one of transition and of the past existential pondering looming right behind the main character. Like when you’re almost at the finish line but you must make sure you don’t trip right before you cross it. Very cinematic, very intriguing.

True North comes to a beautiful end with a repeated chorus and a unified narrative. The Country song sublimely parades the not-so-talked-about reality of life tending to become monochromatic unless one actively seeks to self-develop, be it outwardly or inwardly. And the biggest gift the trio could have granted the audience is the pristine mix, master, and production of the masterpiece from start to end.

Song Credits: Andre Chrys – Songwriter, Lead Vocalist, Guitar Player; Chris Lok – Songwriter, Back Vocalist, Guitar Player, Sound Engineer; Taryn Laronge – Songwriter, Back Vocalist; Steve Dawson – Pedal Steer Guitar and Electric Guitar Player, Sound Engineer, Music Producer; Jeremy Holmes – Bass Player; Gary Craig – Drum Player.

Make sure you support The ACT Americana Trio by streaming True North on Apple Music HERE, on Deezer HERE, on YouTube Music HERE, on Amazon Music HERE, and on Spotify below:

Written by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment 
©2022

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