Premiere: Far By So Below

Premiere: Far By So Below

AT V, WE TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE IN RECOGNIZING NEW TALENT, ESPECIALLY IN MUSIC. THE ARTISTS WE FIND AREN'T ON THE RADIO—SOME AREN'T EVEN SIGNED—BUT THEIR POTENTIAL IS OBVIOUS. OUR NEWEST MUSICAL CRUSH? SO BELOW

AT V, WE TAKE A LOT OF PRIDE IN RECOGNIZING NEW TALENT, ESPECIALLY IN MUSIC. THE ARTISTS WE FIND AREN'T ON THE RADIO—SOME AREN'T EVEN SIGNED—BUT THEIR POTENTIAL IS OBVIOUS. OUR NEWEST MUSICAL CRUSH? SO BELOW

Text: Ian David Monroe

Today, Auckland-born singer Maddie North, aka So Below, premieres her track “Far” exclusively on V, ahead of her debut self-titled EP release. The song encapsulates all the traits that make So Below appealing: it's hypnotic, dark, and undeniably catchy. “It was always my dream to be a female Trent Reznor,” she jokes about her sounds. “I’m a huge Nine Inch Nails fan. I just like how the music is really gritty and dark.”

“Far” may be the fourth track of So Below, but it’s a first of sorts. “It’s very special for me because it’s the very first track that I ever completed,” she recalls. “I was sitting on the couch one day, and I wrote the basic skeleton of it, and then my flat mate came in was like this is great, we have to finish this.”

For most, an enthusiastic roommate provides little more than a pep talk, but fortunately for North things are a little different: “I have three flat mates and they’re all New Zealand musicians that I used to know back [home].” Those three Kiwis are Aaron Short, of The Naked and Famous, and Sam McCarthy and Leroy Clampitt. The latter two rounded out North’s previous band, Strange Babes, where she sharpened her skills as a vocalist and instrumentalist while opening for The Naked and Famous on their North American dates. On that time, she reflects: “It was a totally different vibe, it was like psychedelic pop. It was really good because I had never played live before. We got to see the entire states; we drove in a van and slept on people’s couches.”

Since then, North has traded touring in vans for recording in bedrooms, a real perk of her current set up. She describes her sound as “gothpop,” due to the brooding melodies of her music. “Darkpop” is another genre thrown her way, one similarly ascribed to fellow compatriot Lorde. It’s not hard to imagine the two singers getting along, but where Lorde makes empowerment anthems like “Team” North does not. Instead, she makes soundtracks for the loners, the ones that showed up to the party solo and were hell-bent on a good time, or more likely didn’t show up at all, choosing to dance the night away in their bedroom mirror instead.

It’s still early days for So Below, but her prowess for alternative pop tracks combined with her solid aesthetic make for a promising future.

Pre-order So Below's debut EP here

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V LEGENDS: Karl Lagerfeld