Northern Comfort “Take Me There” single review + chat with frontman Luke D’Apolito

Since seeing Northern Comfort back in early 2017 and being blown away by their live show, we’ve been waiting for the Leeds band to release their first bits of recorded music. At last, this weekend, they release debut single “Take Me There” for the world to hear and we couldn’t be more impressed with the effort they’ve put in to make this happen.

It would be wrong to say there aren’t a number of bands at this level making some top quality music right now, but since we first saw Northern Comfort, we’ve had nothing but superlatives to throw their way. Whilst a great live band, the issue with many artists trying to start out as a recording artist, is their live shows far surpass the quality of their tracked music. Northern Comfort though have bucked this irritating trend and have invested in creating a top quality recorded debut, putting them in a great position to kick on and open up new opportunities in 2018.

Citing 90s britpop music as their heaviest influences, frontman Luke D’Apolito especially, there are certain elements of the track that would fit this genre perfectly. Where I personally feel the song excels though is that it isn’t as one dimensional as 90s music was. D’Apolito has a more varied vocal, reminiscent of New Radicals or Razorlight more than Blur or the Roses and the layering of the recording makes it a closer fit to the 00s rock that brought guitars back to our airwaves.

Take Me There does everything a debut single should do. It offers fans who’ve been with the band a while a song to learn, and sing back at the band at live shows; more importantly though, the song is so well recorded and performed, it will bring in a host of new fans. Music like this doesn’t need to be technically brilliant, and it would be hard to argue that the track is as complex as some of the indie music out there now. What it does do though, is offer hard hitting riffs that you can dance to with anybody, your missus, your best mate or even your mum.

Indie-rock has become dull to listen to and every band seems to be putting out variations of the same track; Northern Comfort though are different, they have something special and the 90s influence is the main driver on this. The Sherlocks claim to be the pioneers of British rock music, they clearly haven’t heard Northern Comfort as given time, they could be the band that drives guitar music in this country, they seriously have that much potential.

In conversation with Luke D’Apolito

So you’ve finally decided to release your first single – what made you feel like this was the right time to do it?

We’ve been playing Live for a good year now and built up a wonderful following. I feel it’s time we give them the track that really does kick off at those gigs and also give our best to people who haven’t heard us before. I do hope it can open some doors for us in other places too!

The track’s called Take me There – what’s the song about and what inspired you to write it?

So I wrote the lyrics with some kind of medieval feel, as you’ll hear it’s a tale about kings and queens. The songs actually from the point of view of a slave boy that falls in love with the queen. Obviously in medieval times that would never be something that was felt both ways, if you like. But in the end the king is shamed and the slave boy gets his chance with the queen. Now I know that sound absolutely bizarre. But don’t think of the meaning as what I’ve just said. The moral of it is about achieving something you first thought was impossible. So if you bring that to current times, it could be about getting with someone completely out of your league. Does that make sense? Who knows?

Haha, who knows! Sounds good to me though. Is this going to be your only release of 2018 or can we expect more from Northern Comfort?

The aim is to get another single out, we want 2018 to be our best year yet. 2017 was our live year, lets carry it on.. but we want to be getting some more tunes out.

What was the recording process like for you guys on this track?

We’d been playing it live for ages and you could tell it was our best track, so it had to be the debut. We went to Fiasco studios in pontefract and the producer, Adam Denny, was absolutely fantastic with us. It was our first time in a studio and we felt so comfortable. The song itself is a multitrack recording, so it was built up from the rhythm section, with lead being at the final stages. I’ve got to be honest my throat was in shreds hours before my vocal take, so I’m surprised at how decent I sound. Is that vain?

The vocal is one of my favourite bits to be fair so no vanity at all!! Obviously you’ve built a good reputation of being a solid live band – what do you feel gives you the edge on this track?

Above all I think the energy of the track has been reflected from the live experience to the track and with our reputation that was one of the major points we wanted. You still get that Northern Comfort attitude we carry live for sure. You can dance to it in the shower, Tried and tested…

You’re launching the on March 2nd at The Wardrobe – what can we expect from the single launch?

ENERGY. Just a big night of outstanding music. Everything you’d expect from 4 live rock bands. We’re sharing a line up with some truly amazing talent. You’ve got Conflare who are smashing it at the moment, I’m sure you’ve heard how brilliant The New York EP is, and they aren’t half bloody good live, I should know, practically joined at the hip with their frontman. You’ve also got Neon Dolls, I don’t need to go into detail about how good that band are, always been a massive credit to the beautiful scene that is Leeds, as said proper rock band. Finally you’ve got Van Houten, who are fairly new, but don’t let that get in the way, they’re truly excellent, intriguing act for sure.

The scene in Leeds is as hot as it’s ever been – who are you tipping for success in the next year as well as you?

Managed to get to a lot of gigs this year and it’s so competitive out there, there’s more talent knocking about then ever. Citrus Heights and Conflare are just smashing it at the moment, tipping those for sure. Also In Your Prime, been dying to have another gig with them, they’re just unbelievable to say how young they are.

Do you feel like you’ve crafted the sound you’re going for as a bad or are you continually working on it?

I’m open to evolution, I think one of the most interesting things you can do is change your sound over time. Don’t get me wrong we’re not going to have an overhaul and go space jazz or anything, we still want to have ballsy rock and roll on our agenda.

Lastly – where would you like to be in 1 year’s time from now?

I want to have another track out for sure, as long as we’re entertaining I don’t care. I obviously plan ahead and have goals but I try not to think too much about the future, you can lose your head I feel. The bigger the gigs the better for sure.

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