Published Sep 26, 2015While To the North may be structured like your typical singer/songwriter release, Lora Bidner strives to make every moment of her sophomore LP bigger, broader and more ambitious. Blending an elegiac mix of guitar, ukulele, piano and orchestral strings, tracks like "I Awoke," "Ignite (featuring JustJamaal ThePoet) and the title track swell, sweep and expand organically and seemingly effortlessly, never feeling overwrought or obligatory.
On the album's softer moments, like the quirky "Author," jazzy "Understand" and tender "3,000 Volts," Bidner uses her dramatic vocal delivery, melodies and myriad of instruments to help cast a shadow of musical momentousness over the album. Bidner, a talented vocalist, instrumentalist and arranger, does a tremendous job at balancing each facet of her musical psyche, never having to lean on a single virtue or mode, allowing To the North to come off as moody as it is eclectic. (Independent)