“I don’t know where I’m sleeping tonight” croons Northeast Corridor‘s Nick Hampson – his voice veering between Antony Hegarty‘s distinctive half-whisper and a choir boy-like coo above hypnotic Jeff Buckley-ish guitar. The song, a bare-souled night ballad empathising with Harlem LGBT youths kicked out onto the streets by their religious families, conjures the same atmosphere as something from the latter’s landmark ‘Grace’. The mood is noirish – a perfect aural representation of an inky night and the fear that creeps forth from the shadows after that burning sun sets.
This is due to ‘Where You’re Sleeping Tonight”s vocal centrepiece, which makes the Oxford Uni quartet feel very much like a band project born from a solo one, inviting us to hang on each emotion-fuelled lilting note that springs from Hampson’s tongue. It’s this that allows tiny nuances to sparkle like eye-widening flares; at the track’s peak Hampson’s voice flutters Wild Beasts-style, like a crumpled can in the spokes and instantly it seems we’re privy to something really special.