Track By Track: Northern Faces – ‘Fingers Crossed’

Fingers Crossed is the rare record that manages to balance diversity with cohesiveness. It contains the massive pop hooks that continues to draw so many people to their previous work, but the new, more personal writing approach has allowed for an album where it is evident the band came to those poppier elements organically. As Shortell points out “this record captures who the band is at this point in our lives. It’s like a tattoo, whenever we go back and listen to it in the future, it’ll evoke a vivid memory of who we were when we were writing it”. Fingers Crossed is a moment in their careers that Northern Faces will undoubtedly be very proud of for the rest of their lives, and one that fans will hold close to their hearts.

New Noise Magazine is pleased to be bringing an in depth and exclusive  track by track of Fingers Crossed by Northern Faces.

Settle Down:  This track is the opener on the record for a reason.  It sets the theme for the whole album.  Maybe not as much musically/sonically, but lyrically it sets the stage.  The first two lines sort of sum it up: “I’m faced with reality, yeah the clock’s working against me.  All my friends now, they’re all settled down.”  This album is that feeling of growing into your 20’s and 30’s and watching everyone around you begin to settle into “normal” life, when it feels like every day you’re getting further from that.  It’s specifically about our feelings of working hard to pursue our dreams, but feeling like we’re fighting against the current of the natural growth that comes with age.

Messin With Me: This song is about a very specific situation that happened to us while writing this album.  It changed the whole direction of the record, and shifted our mindset about what we wanted to create.  When other people doubt you, and try to tear down what you’re building, it’s up to you to decide if you turn it into fuel or let the negativity win.

When I’m With You:  When we were making this album, we went on a bit of a “journey” together in the studio.  This song is about that experience.

All I Know:  Marco showed me a rough version of this demo on a whim one day when we were going through tracks together.  It was a track I could tell he wasn’t really trying to work on or anything, just was sort of cycling through tracks.  I just couldn’t get the hook out of my head for days, and I pushed and pushed until I could convince him it was worth us exploring.  Lyrically it encapsulates the feeling I think a lot of the world has right now.  It feels like we’re living in crazy times, and heading into uncharted territory.  Every day it feels we hit a new bottom in some way, and there’s that feeling of a helpless sort of optimism that we’ve hit rock bottom, and there’s only up from here, as long as we do it together: “All I heard is this has got to get better, All I know is we gotta stick together”.

Coming Back Around:  This was one of the first tracks we had for the album.  The sound of it sort of shaped the sound for a lot of the other songs on the record.  It gave us a general direction for the sound this time around.  We really wanted to experiment with some different textures and sounds.  Layering acoustic guitar is a huge part of this album’s sound, and this was the track that did it first.  The lyrics picking up on the theme from the situation in “Messin’ With Me” and it’s a sort of rally cry, and us saying that we won’t go down without a fight.

Renegade: Probably the most “rock” song on the record.  Straight up nod to Oasis and 90’s alt rock.  The lyrics are overconfident, indulgent, and musically it scratched an itch we’ve wanted to scratch for a long time.

Firecracker: It’s about feeling like your fire for something might be slowly fading out, and that it might be your fault.  It could be a passion, a relationship, or a specific chapter in your life.  It’s that self doubt that can come in waves, and the whole thought process that goes along with that.  When you begin to doubt your own direction, it’s easy to assume others around you are doubting you too.  Firecracker is about feeling that pressure, anxiety, and paranoia.  For us specifically it’s about this album and Northern Faces in general.

Wildest Thing: A sort of Americana rock song.  The song explores the feeling of growing older and feeling the pressure of balancing what you pictured your life would be like at this point, and what it actually ended up being.  It’s about that journey of being in a relationship with someone at that stage in your life and how it can shape your perspective on them and yourself.

Find Your Mind: This was the first song written for the album.  It existed probably 2 years before we even started properly demoing for the record.  I think it’s pretty easy to tell when listening to it that it was the bridge between the last LP and this one.

Yesterday: One of our favorites on the album and it’s the song we close our sets out with now.  It’s a dark, almost heavy rock song.  It’s about learning from the past, and choosing how you define yourself, instead of letting it define you.

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