The Cardinal Points

The Cardinal Points

 New York, New York, USA

Mid-tempo indie rock/chamber pop. Think Summerteeth era Wilco meets The National circa Boxer. Sort of.


Based in New York, The Cardinal Points are an indie rock outfit who imbues a crafted Britpop-ish sound with American roots rock tendencies (or maybe the other way around?), inspiring comparisons to groups like Blur and Pulp or REM. Exploring what The Deli NYC called, a landscape of frozen dreams and tumbling anxieties, they weave easy melodic gestures and occasional electronic quirks supported by shimmering guitars atop a muscular rhythmic foundation.

The title of their debut EP, I Promised You Mermaids, but the Ocean Was Empty, captures the mood. Its slightly absurd and a little forlorn but kind of funny at the same time, offers ringleader John Washburn. The punch line pulls you in without quite giving it away.

Formed in 2011 after Washburn enlisted old friends and sometime collaborators Jon Crider (guitar and keys), Bick (bass, mostly), it was originally meant to just be a studio project. At the beginning, we had just signed up to play on a few songs, says Bick, Next thing you know were a band again. Painstakingly recorded in fits and starts over the course of the next year, Mermaids was finally released in the fall of 2012 to a warm response, with The Deli NYC calling it an impressive debut and Philly blog Music Under Fire saying it was love at first listen.

They work out of a makeshift basement studio in a commercial space in Long Island City, Queens. While the environment is humble (they often have to wait for passing trains to record takes), it affords them the luxury of collective exploration without worrying about the clock. The end result rewards the attentive listener with little gems the reveal themselves on repeated listening, from the Theremin that opens The Strangest Days to the backwards guitars that close the Circle the Sun to the trumpets that adorn Ill Get To You, Somehow.

Since the release of Mermaids, theyve been performing locally at NY venues such as the Mercury Lounge and Brooklyns Rock Shop. Meanwhile, theyre planning a series of singles to be released in 2013, with the first oneThe Cure meets The National inspired Fade Outdue in February. These will eventually be collected into an album (or possibly a couple EPs) inspired in part by Bowies Berlin records, with a pop/rock side and an experimental/art side.

As Music Under Fire suggests: Keep an eye on these fellas.


The Strangest Days single
I Promised You Mermaids, but the Ocean Was Empty EP