Originally released when Royal Osprey was called Twin Cats.
“A young couple drives silently in an old beat up truck after getting into an argument about jealousy, possessiveness, or money problems. It’s foggy. The windows are up and condensation is building inside the car. They are surrounded by mountains. An ominously dense cloud covering eerily stalks the treetops as a slow-burning song plays through a cheap pair of factory speakers: “My mother is gone/ She went to go up north.” This is the scene I imagine when listening to Twin Cats’ new album Up North. The moniker for Chicago’s Joseph Murphy, Royal Osprey creates deliberate, haunting, and atmospheric music that exhibits undeniable slowcore leanings. The album’s title track opens with a minimalistic guitar plucking out single notes and Murphy’s rustic voice is backed by ethereal background vocals. Eventually the voices fade and the skeletal track builds up into a fuller instrumental breakdown that wouldn’t be out of place on a post-rock band’s album. The next track, a wonderful little folk song entitled “The River,” seems more informed by the likes of Will Oldham than Low or Red House Painters. That’s what’s so intriguing about Up North. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, it veers off in an unexpected direction. The good news is, whatever direction it takes its done with the deftness of an experienced songwriter. This is an album well worth a careful listen, so head over to www.orchidcollective.com
to get your copy.”