“Through the Grain” is the latest single from the Swedish Indie-Pop project Northern Trails. Formed in 2022, they claim to be influenced by Americana and 90s Brit pop and have an EP and 3 singles under their belt. The band consists of Christer Tinnerholm och Thomas Isberg, Per Larsson och Ulf Eklund and lead singer and songwriter Thomas mixing and mastering the tracks.

“Through the grain” knows how to play with energy levels and use layering to elevate pre-existing moods. The first fifty seconds of the track is spent setting the stage with a stripped-down version of the chorus with only vocals, strings and the occasional keys. Given the current music ecosystem where most tracks are encouraged to catch the attention of the audience immediately and play to the algorithm, taking the first minute just to set the atmosphere is a creative choice by Northern Trails I appreciated. When the instrumentation finally does kick in, it feels like a certain anticipation and tension has been built up for the release.

The two longer than usual funky guitar solos were efficient in breaking the monotony of vocals and were the highlight of the track for me. The instrumentation by Northern Trails complemented the solos seamlessly. The lyrical themes on the track were its weakest link in my opinion. While elements related to nature such as light, sound, grain, crystal and flames were brought up, overall, they felt slightly incoherent. However, the sonic palette of “Through the grain” feels very warm and inviting and the track feels sonically well written, composed and produced.

“Through the Grain” is track that doesn’t get old too soon. A track that will grow on you. A track you will revisit often!