Although the cover of synthpop artist Northern Nomads’ EP may scream Los Angeles with its depiction of blue skies and palm trees, you may be surprised to discover that the artist is actually based in gloomy Seattle. The overcast weather this city is notorious for doesn’t stop Mario Sibaja, the sole face behind Northern Nomads, to deliver a bright and summery 4 song EP that’s interesting and enjoyable through and through.
Love Is All We Have is both the name and the overlying theme of the debut Northern Nomads EP. The lyrics written on most of the tracks are deeply romantic and slightly nostalgic, in which Sibaja sings phrases such as “There is no one else when we’re together / night and day are not the same.” The previously written words found on “Night & Day” and the plenty of other heartfelt thoughts throughout the EP revolve around clinging to love, no matter what the circumstances.
Perhaps the best part of Love Is All We Have is the quality of the production. Sibaja himself produced the EP along with Simon Nicol, and the work they did is truly outstanding. Every element of every song blends together smoothly, and no part of the arrangements outshine any other. A particular song that highlights the solid production is the title track, “Love Is All We Have.” The synthwave base of the tune contains a clean, funky edge, and with the addition of subtle harmonies near the chorus, “Love Is All We Have” stands out as the most memorable on the EP.
“Dream” is another track that stands out, especially as the only slowjam of the four. Besides the slowed down tempo, the song also possesses a darker feel than the others. The slightly psychedelic vibe within the five minute track is reminiscent of Tame Impala, and protrudes the feeling of floating through different dimensions and galaxies.
The music industry tends to assume that each synthpop artist in 2017 is in an attempt to hijack today’s trends with culture from the 80s. Northern Nomads is living proof that basing your music off of synths doesn’t automatically make you a Duran Duran wannabe. By incorporating multiple genres in creative ways, Northern Nomads makes sure his debut EP is original, intelligent and intriguing.