Fusion as a musical term is very open-ended. And your idea of fusion changes depending on what you listen to. To some it might be a few metal sounds with a raga or two thrown into the mix. To others it could be interesting rhythms from other cultures. ‘Northern Lights’ has something for everybody and you’re very likely to find something new with each listen. While you’re in awe of what you hear, your eyes are treated to a colourful and brilliant music video that captures all the colours of the Northern Lights, as the name suggests.
There’s a lot to unpack musically; and it is difficult for me to pick where to start because everything is executed cohesively and with an extreme attention to detail. You’ll find elements of orchestral movie soundtracks (with some cheeky little counter-melodies hidden in that orchestra), bluesy harmony, sounds from Indian movie soundtracks from Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, beautiful melodies that borrow heavily from Carnatic music, funky rhythms and grooves, harmony that is reminiscent of some new-age jazz fusion, solos that are drenched in jazz and western classical vocabulary.
Think of the most diverse city you can imagine. Now imagine everybody is dancing to a groovy rhythm section that will melt your face off. That’s as close of an analogy as I can give. And the rhythm section is so tight and well knit that you’ll get sucked into the groove and stay there, and honestly why wouldn’t you?
Truth be told, this song is filled to the brim with some of the best musicianship and compositional skills that you can find around. So much so that its difficult to really describe how good it sounds and how it blends so many stylistic elements together. The band describes it with the word ‘eclecticism’ and I’m inclined to agree (once I’m done picking my jaw off the floor). The video that complements it is an experience unlike no other.
Consumer grade screens and earphones/speakers/headphones don’t really do it justice because of the lengths the band went to to get it all perfect; like having it mixed and mastered in Dolby Atmos and having the video colour-graded in Dolby Vision. You’re rarely going to find a gem like this. So its strongly advised that you keep this In your playlist and enjoy it, which you definitely will.
Verdict: Fusion at its finest, drenched in groove.