Live on Excursions: Northern Howl
As the temperature slowly escalates to the upper 90's, Northern Howl passes by the WYSO studio to provide a wintery mix on a hot summer day. In her interview, Niki Dakota speaks to the young band about life on the road in their second tour through the Midwest and East Coast.
From looking outside the studio, you would think Niki had brought in a school marching band to perform on Excursions. Cases for multiple guitars and drums, a keyboard, an accordion, a violin, and even a xylophone fill the WYSO conference room while only 5 band members (Paul Erling, Elori Kramer, Kathleen Thornton, Willie Nordstrom, and Spencer Roth) play in studio.
These multi-instrumentalist performers create a wall of sound reminiscent of Sufjan Stevens in his live performances or the recent Morning Benders. While Paul is the main vocalist, there are moments where the entire band will shake the studio with their voices. In their set list, Niki Dakota acknowledges a definite theme of snow to which the band from Minnesota replies, "We get a lot of it."
There exists a very traditional aspect to their music, which Niki describes as "American rustic." It is something so nostalgic that it creates a kind of heaviness in the heart - so moving that Reporter/Host of Morning Edition Jerry Kenney stopped by the studio while they performed "Stars" to say, "This makes me kind of sad."
Interview by Niki Dakota
Adapted for the web by Chris de la Cruz