Ears Wide Open: North Americans

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Have you ever gotten lost in the wilderness and not worried at all about finding your way back because you were soaking in the beauty around you? The music video for North Americans’ new song, “American Dipper” takes you to that place.

The song is from “Roped In,” the fourth album of instrumental music from the mind and fingers of guitarist Patrick McDermott. The album, the follow-up to 2018’s equally meditative “Going Steady,” is out Oct. 9 via Third Man Records. As opposed to the synth-accented creations of its predecessor, the new album finds McDermott linking up with Portland-based pedal steel player Barry Walker.

It’s salve for the wounds of these times — music for not just enjoying the moment but becoming it. The video for “American Dipper,” with its mountain crests and a picturesque skyline to gently flowing water and vibrant greenery, envelops the viewer in a state of relaxation. Morning lapses to dusk, serenaded by passages of pedal steel and acoustic guitar, until fireflies glow at the end.

The stirring video for the songs “Furniture in the Valley” and “Rivers That You Cannot See” is a more narrative affair. The work of Rocco & Gilles it stars Evangeline Neuhart and Roy Allen.

Besides Walker, McDermott is joined on two tracks by Mary Lattimore (that’s her harp on “Furniture in the Valley”) and on three by guitarist William Tyler, whose albums of instrumental hold magic of their own. Of “Roped In” as a whole, McDermott says: “I wanted to focus on the simplicity of the music. I didn’t want to be beholden to this massive goal of [making music] to see how progressive and experimental it could be. I was attempting to cherish the pureness of this type of music.”

||| Watch: The videos for “American Dipper” and “Furniture in the Valley” / “Rivers That You Cannot See”

||| Also: Stream the songs here

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