South

Wed Jan 28

Berbati's

Imagine that due to label wrangling at your home in the UK, your September 2003 sophomore album (With the Tides), which is vastly different in style from your 2001 debut (From Here on In), is first released in the U.S., with a North American tour to back it up. Just before you take to the skies in October, though, your drummer breaks his wrist, postponing the tour until With the Tides has been out in America for a good three months. If you're South's optimistic frontman, Joel Cadbury, you couldn't be more excited at the notion that what should have happened over the course of six months has turned into an absolute landslide of events.

"I don't want to get too ahead of myself," says the singer and guitarist, "because last time I was this excited, my drummer broke a wrist. Here we are, ready to start over."

South's first album, From Here on In, was often categorized as electronica, largely because UNKLE producer James Lavelle incorporated dance beats and keyboard moodiness into the band's dense rock. With the Tides moves From Here on In's string arrangements to the forefront, but all semblance of traditional electronica is completely removed. The songs are as dark as ever, but the scope of Cadbury's vocals and the shimmer of acoustic guitar against driving electric make for a big, bright, and dreamy sound. Harmonies layered over the stark-sounding keys of a Fender Rhodes infuse the album with a sense of space and elasticity.

Cadbury and his bandmates--guitarist Jamie McDonald and drummer Brett Shaw--have played together since they were 14 years old, which makes South like family. And with family you can expect a broken wrist, or a missed trip to another country, and plenty of room to grow.