Hailing from Melbourne, guitar and drums two-piece This Way North are Leisha Jungalwalla (Jungal) and Cat Leahy (Sal Kimber & the Rollin’ Wheel, Miss Quincy, Lisa Miller).
They first met in the north…Canada in fact; at the renowned British Columbian ArtsWells Festival. While hanging at the festival, they discovered that their permanent homes were both north…north-side Melbourne that is…half a world away, but only 500m apart. Once they’d returned to Melbourne, they treated their post-tour blues by doing what all self-respecting musicians do: playing music and what came out was good…really good.
This Way North began as a means of finding a way back… to find direction again, and it damn well worked.
The duo’s ongoing love affair with Canada saw them flying to Toronto in July 2016 to record with producer Derek Downham (Broken Social Scene, Holy F*ck). During these Toronto sessions they produced their latest single ‘Head Above Water’ a driving track that has superb thick reverb slide guitar guiding the dreamy melody over pulsating drums. The two’s vocals blend beautifully through the hypnotic lyrics and from this, evokes long summer days spent by the water having a break from the world. The song is about society’s quest to try and live in the present within the constant crazy pace of the modern day world.
The video for ‘Head Above Water’ was shot at a recent fundraiser for the outdoor education group Mittagundi up in the remote Glen Valley in the Australian Alps. The video, edited by Agostino Soldati and shot by Jerun Terlaak, combines stunning footage of the high country and captures the beauty of being present during river floats, time with mates and live music. It is a beautiful representation of the song, itsjourney and meaning.
Punchy and left of centre, but with a universally appealing groove and melody, This Way North’s live shows are powerful. Cat brings solid groove based, dynamic power drumming, while Leisha sways with swampy slide guitar, slimmed down soul vocals and compelling alt-pop melodies. Sometimes likened to The Black Keys, Tame Impala and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, their unique musical connection creates an explosive sound that’s rarely realised by just two artists on stage. Audiences are drawn in by the powerful performances of these two seasoned musicians. The moment This Way North embrace the stage the audience engage – that’s just how it is.
Recorded with producer Shane O’Mara (Tim Rogers, The Audrey’s, Lisa Miller) the duo’s 2016 debut EP featured singles ‘Pretty Much’ and ‘Don’t You Fly’ with official clips directed by Agostino Soldati, and was followed by shows with Thirsty Merc, as well as Toronto showcases and festivals such as Moomba, Nannup Music Festival, Bendigo Blues and Roots, Swagger Music Festival and Wollombi Music festival.