Wintersleep Gets Adventurous
In a region coasting on a decade's worth of New Seattle buzz, with its fabled, mostly lost record deals and ironic hairstyles, that a four-piece with roots in small town Nova Scotia and the humble hardcore and punk scenes of the city could meld those things together and emerge as one of the most hyped acts in years — and sound nothing like Sloan while doing it — indicates that Halifax might finally be ready to move on.
Wintersleep, the band's second release (its 2003 debut was also self-titled), could be the album to convert the whole country. More adventurous and expansive than the first — some of the vocal arrangements border on choral — its effusive epics, restrained ballads and full-on rockers comprise a perfect showcase of the Wintersleep aesthetic: driving, sharp percussion, Tim D'Eon's guitars going from shimmer to shriek in an instant and Paul Murphy's ethereal vocals, which have tightened up and smoothed out considerably since the last full-length.
"If I went back and listened to the first one, there's a list of 20 things I would change right now," says drummer Loel Campbell. "We took a lot more time on this one because we could," adds bassist Jud Haynes. The first album was recorded in an old opera house in the seaside town of Lunenburg, an hour outside the city, while the new one was laid down in two Halifax studios. "In Lunenburg, you had to make your time count, so you might rush through what you're doing," Haynes continues. "You know you only have so many hours. But here it was only five minutes away so we could take our time and keep working it until you get what you were picturing in your head. I think everybody's a lot happier with this record."
FeaturesJul 03, 2015
Leon BridgesInstant Vintage
She was like, "Is this secular music?" I told her "yes ma'am," Leon Bridges recalls. The playing of or listening to secular music was ve...
FeaturesJul 02, 2015
The Exclaim! QuestionnaireFlorence Welch (of the Machine)
Florence Welch has been on top of the charts ever since her band Florence + the Machine burst onto the scene in 2009 with the breakthrough a...
FeaturesJun 05, 2015
Where I PlayKathryn Calder
"To be honest, I don't know what half this stuff does, but that's okay." Kathryn Calder laughs, sitting in front of the sprawling console in...
FeaturesJun 04, 2015
Brandon FlowersIs A Retro Killer
"For the first eight or nine years of my life all I heard was '80s music, so it's a part of me, I guess." Brandon Flowers is known as th...
FeaturesMay 28, 2015
Patrick WatsonBlinded By Science
An album about robots may seem suited for the kind of experimentalism seen in science fiction, but Patrick Watson — the Montreal-based...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
Samantha Savage SmithSteps Outside the Box
It took four years for the release of Calgary singer-songwriter Samantha Savage Smith's follow-up to her 2011 debut. In that time Smith has ...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
High EndsClass Act
There's a line at the start of "Working Man's Blue," the last song on Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes's debut LP as High Ends, that goes...
FeaturesMay 11, 2015
Mikal CroninStories We Tell
In a lot of ways, gifted garage rock songwriter Mikal Cronin's MCIII feels like the culmination of the last decade of his life. "About t...