A new pop magic

Northern Thorns is the brainchild of drummer and composer Adam Kozie (Pollens). After his brother’s suicide in early 2014, Adam channeled his grief into creating a new musical project, a set of songs that would fuse classic 70’s Afropop with American indie rock song structures and lyrics sung in English. He wrote songs in seclusion, engrossed in music that he and his brother had shared an affinity for. The result was at once powerfully cathartic and completely danceable. He formed Northern Thorns to perform this music.

Orchestre Kiam - Editions Veve Vol. 8


Northern Thorns is first influenced by the golden age of cavacha, rumba rock and hard soukous bands of the mid to late 1970’s in the two Congos, and the Ghanaian and Nigerian Highlife bands of the 70’s and 80’s. Favorites include Kiam, Orchestre Vévé, Zaïko Langa Langa, Okukuseku Band of Ghana, Lipua-Lipua, Lita Bembo and Orchestre Stukas, African Brothers Band, Shama Shama, and Kyeremateng Stars among many others.

Northern Thorns at Spacecraft, Adam Kozie, Mike Sparks, Ian Williams

Northern Thorns Alumni

Northern Thorns SpaceCraft Photo Booth

Northern Thorns is a collective, and most every show has a different lineup. Past, present and future members include:

  • Adam Kozie – composer, drums, lead vocals
  • Isaac Castillo – bass guitar, vocals
  • John Coons – vocals
  • Beth Fleenor – percussion, vocals
  • Tristan Gianola – lead guitar
  • Whitney Lyman – percussion, vocals
  • Mike Sparks – bass guitar, vocals
  • Scott Teske – bass guitar
  • Angel Weaver – vocals
  • Ian Williams – rhythm guitar, vocals, trumpet
  • Jamie Maschler – percussion, vocals
  • Sam Esecson – percussion
  • Lalo Bello – percussion
  • Jared Borkowski – lead guitar, vocals
  • Ronan Delisle – rhythm guitar