Ty Pow & The Holy North may sound like a new name in music, but members of the group have been playing in bands for over 10 years. Comprised of musicians from Cloud Cult, 4ontheFloor, and Jillian Rae, the group comes with heavy experience and talent.
Hitting play on their debut album Rhubarb ’93 is lighting a fuse to 31 minutes of rockabilly grit and groove. The explosive single “Shake On It” is the quintessential song to infer the direction for the following 7 tracks. Tyler Pautsch’s vocals ignite with edge and pull you towards a Nathaniel Rateliff character, while the drums of Jeremy Harvey and guitar of Christian Wheeler inject the Black Keys into the picture. “Shake On It” jumps out of the speakers and sets the tone for a wheel dealin’ ride through the blessed north.
“Stand With Me” follows with another stick of dynamite that starts to give a larger picture of a 70s rock and soul. The drums are heavy like a Phil Rudd heartbeat while the keys flutter on top in playful Elton John juju. The combination and sonic balance of the band remains consistent with Kevin Gamble’s expertise on organ/keys, Kai Brewster’s low-end-marrying-bass, and the juicy guitar solos implanted in.
The way the band rolls into each song is another highlight that carries through. “Pour Me In” basks in reverb vocals to spark the beginning, “Our Spell” trickles in with shimmery brushes, and “Burn and Turn” explodes in with a forward fast drum beat. This variance is skillfully done throughout the 8 songs, chugging along with driven intention and delicate craft.
The two slower songs, “Somehow” and “Going Down” expand on the soulfully charged vocals of Pautsch and tones of Gambles’ keys. They diversify the album loaded with blues rock and alt-country songs with a softer heart and sway. “Going Down” feels like an Anderson East inspired gospel roots recording that deals with mental health and relationship woes. It’s ends the album with a lingering taste and desire to replay the entire album all over again.
“Well I saw you yesterday, for the first time in my life
And I know it was golden, and/now I feel alright.”
The musicianship between the five members feels seamless and collaborative. Recording engineer Colin Loynachan at The Swamp Recording Studio accented the edges and weaves together an album that unjustly remains under the radar.
Rhubarb ’93 is a fleshy stalk of Americana music waiting to be consumed. Ty Pow & The Holy North is auditory gunpowder that fires out the speakers and kindles your curiosity to seeing them perform live. The Minnesota super collaboration of artists is a warm addition to our scene and unlike rhubarb, will remain in season all through the year.