Great Northern 

Wednesday, Feb 7 2007

WHEN: Monday Feb. 12, Spaceland with Division Day

WHAT: Great Northern are one of the more ethereal bands on L.A.’s indie scene: Their dreamy vocals billow and blow away into echoes, and keyboards lend a wise-beyond-their-years wistfulness. Drumbeats are low and tight, nudging into marches, and tracks are peppered with sleigh bells and violin. The overall effect is like a swelling soundtrack to a pensive day, creating instant nostalgia.

WHO: Guitarist and vocalist Solon Bixler has music in his bones: His father is a composer, and he’s played with several Eastside indie fixtures, including Earlimart. Lithe, redheaded Rachel Stolte contributes hazy vocals and wistful piano and is also a lifelong musician, but demurs when listing some of the Orange County lineups she’s been in previously. After having picked up drummer Davey Latter, and at one time having played a few gigs with Silversun Pickups front man Brian Aubert, they added their tiny and adorable bassist, Ashley Dzerigian.

DIVISION OF LABOR:Rachel admits to being more nitpicky over lyrics, while Solon mulls more over music.

FATEFUL MEETINGS:Solon and Rachel were friends who began their collaboration by passing 8-track recordings back and forth three years ago, Rachel adding piano and vocals to Solon’s rough acoustic sketches. But they say their lineup truly coalesced when they stumbled upon bassist Ashley one night at an art party. By the time they asked her to join the band the next day, she had memorized their entire catalog. Ashley herself is a believer in fate; the 24-year-old was engaged to her husband, artist Ronald Dzerigian, just 13 days after meeting him.

STRETCHING THEIR TOUR LEGS: The band recently returned from a West Coast tour ?with Division Day.

ON THE CUSP: After a well-attended residency at the Echo, Great Northern are set to release their first full-length, Trading Twlight for Daylight, May 15 on Eenie Meenie Records. And they just shot their first music video.

WILL THEIR VIDEO BE FILLED WITH HALF-?NAKED CHICKS IN HOT TUBS?Solon waves a finger toward Rachel and Ashley and deadpans expertly: “Oh, yes. These two ?love wearing bikinis.”

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