The North Country @ Dwell [DC] - 6/7/2019

Through thick and thin, The North Country prevails. This fact bore out time and time again, with this particular again being the addition of Margot MacDonald to their shifting lineup. A favorite in the DC music scene and member of the (unfortunately) now defunct The El Mansouris, MacDonald’s solo music displays not just the power of her voice, but her mastery of vocal loops and effects. She is, to put it mildly, multifaceted.

In fact, the entire ensemble that leader Andrew Grossman has assembled can lay claim to such musical diversity, with most members juggling multiple musical projects (Bal Boheme, Near Northeast, California Accent, and Lotion Princess, just to name a few) outside of their residency in The North Country. They are, with no hyperbole, DC's premier indie-pop supergroup.

Superorganism at 9:30 Club (Photo by Mauricio Castro)

Superorganism at 9:30 Club (Photo by Mauricio Castro)

The addition of MacDonald on vocals (along with her staple vocal effects and loops) added fascinating textures to the harmonies of their existing songs, and it'll be interesting to see how they harness her technical ability moving forward. Grossman’s quirky pop earworms that dabble heavily in sarcasm and wit have been a consistent staple of the band’s work to date, but they have always been bolstered by his remarkable ear for texture, so this addition, it would seem, is a perfect fit.

Their Dwell performance was just the group's first in its current iteration, and it may be a bit of time before we get to see them next. Still, if this performance was any indication, indie-pop fans should take notice when it comes time for The North Country to unleash what's next.

The North Country's latest release is the 2018 single "Don't Quit Your Day Job."

Opening for The North Country were Adele Marie & the Milkweeds and Fiona Kahrman.

Photos by Mauricio Castro

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