I’m going to set a scene for you to imagine; you’re a child, laying on the grass in the backyard on a breezy summer afternoon. A huge tree casts a large shadow above you, the sunlight creeps in through the cracks, and gentle breaths of wind rustle the leaves overhead.
Now just capture that feeling for a moment – that’s exactly how I felt listening to Vian Izak’s new project; Northern Anthems.
Brothers Vian and Hein, born in South Africa, moved to the US. as children. In order to adjust to their new home, language, and culture, they used to create imaginary lands to live in.
Twenty years later, the two brothers have allowed for us to feel that same sense of freedom with their multi-dimensional project Northern Anthems, each track filled with a childlike sense of wonder that only a true artist could emanate.
Till Your Heart Is Still, the fourth track on the album, is a moody pop creation with a soft-hearted melody. The track’s vocals and hook are similar to the likes of Sufjan Stephens, if he came out into the sun for a little bit and wasn’t so sad all the damn time.
Starlit Summer’s Eve, the second track on the new album, is a beautifully crafted piano-pop tune that feels like you’re dreaming up a big adventure. It’s a theme that has an ongoing presence throughout Northern Anthems.
For those who would prefer an aesthetic experience, rather than an aural one, Vian Izak have allowed us to read their beloved comics to accompany the release, the first ever visual album to ever be streamed on Spotify. Check out the comic here.
The comics follow the two brothers themselves, Vian and Hein, as they trek across the nether reaches of the arctic. Listening to Northern Anthems, and reading the comic at the same time (if you’re a talented multi-tasker like me, mwa), gives you the well-rounded Vian Izak experience that was completely intended.
You will feel an immense sense of adventure, wonder and mystery – things that have long since passed whilst growing deeper into the mundanity of adulthood.
The final track on the album, Things Will Get Better, is like getting a splash of water to your face when you’re blind drunk and can’t stop laughing when you really shouldn’t be. Northern Anthems builds you to the heights of wanderlust, and once we get to the melancholic conclusion, we’re reminded that we don’t live with such wonder, but we still have the ability to – we just choose to be distracted.