Album Review: McDermott & North – The Hollywood EP

McDermott & North, the captivating indie folk duo known for their heartfelt sounds and irresistible melodies, recently released their latest work, ‘The Hollywood EP.’ This project is the embodiment of a beautiful celebration of love, connection, and the subtlety of everyday moments. The much-anticipated EP, released on June 30 via Weirder Together Records, has been curated with a depth of soul and musical understanding that will likely resonate with both their existing fans and newcomers alike.Since their initial emergence in 2016, McDermott & North have proven to be a force to be reckoned with on the indie folk scene. Their evocative busking performances, alongside a collection of remarkable singles and an EP, have all been pivotal in shaping their growing reputation. The duo’s extensive performance record includes prestigious stages such as Bluesfest, BIGSOUND, and Ted X Brisbane, complemented by countless tours, reflecting their dedication and passion for their craft.

The genesis of ‘The Hollywood EP’ was born out of an unexpected encounter in 2021 with acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter and producer Ben Lee. Lee’s chance discovery of the two stylish troubadours, singing in harmonious synchrony reminiscent of 60s folk, initiated a fascinating chain of events. Little did they foresee that this fortuitous intersection would pave the way for a remarkable collaboration resulting in the creation of this EP, serving as one of the inaugural releases for the new label Weirder Together Records, co-founded by Lee and his partner, Ione Skye.

After McDermott & North showcased their talent as the opening act for Ben Lee at a show in Brisbane, he extended an invitation to them to record with him in Los Angeles. Despite geographic challenges making this recording opportunity impossible, they sent their guitar and vocal stems to Lee, entrusting him with the task of completing the EP. Demonstrating the powerful draw of their music, Ben Lee managed to assemble an exceptional team to contribute to the project, including renowned musicians Joey Waronker, Roger Manning Jr, and Mike Viola.

Reflecting on the collaboration, Rhys North expressed, “Working with Ben was an exhilarating experience filled with excitement and anticipation. His remarkable production skills gave each song its own unique personality, and we couldn’t be prouder of the outcome.” Paddy McDermott echoed North’s sentiments, noting the seamless musical connection they found with Lee, despite the distance, and expressing his admiration for Lee’s creative input which elevated the project to new heights.’The Hollywood EP’ is a perfect showcase of McDermott & North’s talent for combining poetic lyrics with enchanting melodies, transporting listeners into their carefully woven narratives. Each track unfolds as a unique story, intricately tying together sound and sentiment into a captivating tapestry.

The EP opens with ‘Pearly Whites,’ an upbeat number infused with nostalgic charm. This song paints a vivid picture of a remarkable woman who commands the glamorous ballrooms of the 1930s, emphasizing McDermott & North’s knack for evoking bygone eras. Following this is ‘Just Let Your Love Shine Down,’ a vibrant track filled with optimism and imbued with the symbolic message of embracing and radiating one’s inner light.’Mary St,’ the third track, offers a shift in dynamics with its solemn tone. It tells a story of longing and fascination, set against the backdrop of a bustling city. This narrative thread of urban chaos and attraction makes the track an emotive stand-out, tugging at the listeners’ heartstrings.

The final offering, ‘I Love Your Way,’ is a tender declaration of deep affection and longing. The raw emotion within the song reflects the duo’s skill in capturing and conveying the intensity of feelings, reinforcing the EP’s overarching theme of love’s extraordinary impact.

At its heart, ‘The Hollywood EP’ emphasizes love’s power to uplift the human spirit and ignite inspiration. McDermott & North’s sincerity and desire to connect with their audience shine throughout the EP, making each song feel deeply personal and genuine. They hope these songs will serve as comforting companions for their listeners, offering solace, joy, and a testament to love’s transformative potential.

With ‘The Hollywood EP,’ McDermott & North invite listeners to join them on a shared journey of love, music, and the unbreakable bond that ties us as humans. The release is sure to tug at heartstrings and uplift spirits, reinforcing the duo’s esteemed place within the indie folk scene. In essence, the EP resonates with McDermott & North’s unerring ability to combine beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics into music that deeply connects with listeners.

Drawing from similar wellsprings of inspiration as Simon & Garfunkel, DMAs, Oasis, The Kinks, and Bob Dylan, McDermott & North’s ‘The Hollywood EP’ is a compelling exploration of the profound and transformative power of love. Check out the release now via Weirder Together Records, and prepare to be swept away by the duo’s captivating storytelling and undeniable musical chemistry. With its celebration of love and connection, ‘The Hollywood EP’ promises to be a memorable and enriching addition to this year’s music releases.

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