It refers to the northen part of a region. It’s a phrase commonly said by locals or former locals of the upper Midwest. Probably other parts of the world as well. The Helgesons have a lake cabin up north. Or He’s headed up north for deer season.
Isn’t it a bit redundant? Up north?
Kind of is, I suppose.
But up isn’t always north. And neither is north always up.
I guess that’s not the point (so many direction terms!). The point is that it’s the name of this concept album. An album about places where the winters are long, the summer are short, and the people are (for better or worse) all up in each other’s business.
If you relate to that, I think you’ll relate to this album.
If you don’t relate to that, don’t worry. “Up North” is really not about the details. It’s about the bigger stuff we all experience. What I mean is, there’s this song about assisted living. Up north it’s very common and a little less controversial than in other parts of the world. Whether you have loved ones in a nursing home, are thinking about it, or haven’t spent a moment of your life thinking about it–I bet you have thought about getting older, the cycle of life, and facing tough decisions about how you care for those you love.
Anyway, I’ve been chipping away at this project for a couple of years in between my other responsibilities. My publisher (and I) fail to see its financial potential, so I’ve been working on it as a passion project.