Premiere: Redbud’s “Sad on the North Side” Sends Us into Summery Dreaminess

Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla
Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla
Hypnotic and softly atmospheric, “Sad on the North Side” by Austin-based group Redbud encapsulates the power of our emotions when unexpectedly falling in love.
Stream: “Sad on the North Side” – Redbud

Life can sometimes feel drab and sad, empty and filled with melancholy, and then maybe you will unexpectedly meet someone special who sends you floating towards the clouds in a daze. You lose control, overcome by joy and affection, and feel yourself surrounded by these clouds that are full of colour and sparkle like crystals. You’re not sure if it’s real or a dream or something between the two and, frankly, you don’t care.

Long Night - Redbud
Long Night – Redbud
I didn’t know
I needed the dark to feel my grin
I was sad
On the north side as I ran into him
He took suddenly
Like a shudder and steeped in like sin
Should I jump
From this crystal cloud? Or lean in?
Tell me how
You give so, make me feel like still I can grow
Show me that
The sky is actually low

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Sad on the North Side,” the latest single by Austin-based four-piece Redbud. It’s a short, mythic sounding song, beginning with dreamy plucks of guitar and a delicate whine that whirls like a breeze. Merging melancholy with euphoria, it encompasses the moment when realizing you’re love-struck, when the loneliness and greyness you may have been experiencing are suddenly replaced by naive possibilities and warming sense of life. “I didn’t know I needed the dark to feel my grin,” go the opening lines, bouncing alongside the laid-back and dreamy instrumentation, before explaining, “I was sad on the north side as I ran into him.

Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla
Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla

‘I was sad on the North side’ is a sentence I heard a friend speak while I was writing this song,” explains Katie Claghorn, the force behind the group. “I immediately knew it was the phrase that would seal in the song to be complete. We were discussing the power of meeting someone you are immediately captivated by after internalizing the idea that you’ll be alone forever and never find love ever again.” The phrase takes place in the form of a whirling staccato rhythm which, alongside the the gentleness of Claghorn’s vocals, gives the impression of not being sad at all. The sound therefore feels representative of this feeling of unexpected love, a surreal buoyancy that assures that everything is going to be perfect.

The combination of optimism and dreaminess is a sonic theme throughout the music of Redbud. “Sad on the North Side” is their fifth single and follows “Island” and “Kin” which were released last year and will appear alongside “Sad on the North Side” on the band’s upcoming EP, Long Night (out February 24 via Good Eye Records).

“Island” has the sunny lightness of lying casually under a heated blue sky with sparkly sea to the side and “Kin” gives the impression of prancing under flowering trees and all things summery and sweet. Lyrically they touch on similar things, the welcoming warmth mixed with a subtle sense of loneliness and doubt, for example ‘I want to watch the people walk/ and I want to hear/ but I dont want to talk/ I want to absorb the sun/ into my skin/ and know that all that exists/ is my kin’ (“Kin”) and ‘I wish that I could stay/ On this Island, cast away/ In the warm sun, with the bird songs/ But something in me knows it’s wrong’ (“Island”).

Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla
Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla

Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla
Redbud © Ismael Quintanilla

“This is another song from the very beginning of my songwriting era,” Katie Claghorn explains.

“I didn’t understand the tempo of it until I met and jammed with drummer Sam. Playing on beat was a challenge for me back in 2020 but the guys made it easy to find the beat when I got lost. I really wanted this song to be on our first EP. It’s one of the funnest songs to play and it feels short and sweet like a little love letter from us to the audience.”

Redbud is formed of Claghorn, Sam Graf, Ryan Black, and Stacie Agnew. Originally just a trio, Agnew joined recently on keys, and together the band have been evolving their sound and identity while gaining recognition in the Austin scene. Like their music, which has an air of whimsicality and encourages us to be transported into our imagination, there is a hint of mystery surrounding the group – if you’re only just discovering them, then isn’t that much out there for learning more – yet!

For that reason, it’s like we’re embarking on a journey – a journey with a welcomingly hypnotic soundtrack that makes us question if we’re fully alive or in a fantasy. Join Redbud and listen to “Sad on the North Side,” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

— —

:: stream/purchase “Sad on the North Side” here ::
Stream: “Sad on the North Side” – Redbud

— — — —

Long Night - Redbud

Connect to Redbud on Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
📸 © Ismael Quintanilla

:: Stream Redbud ::

More from Francesca Rose

Interview: Reviving Countrypolitan Music with John Paul White’s ‘The Hurting Kind’

Following the release of ‘The Hurting Kind’, singer/songwriter John Paul White shares...
Read More