By Chris WhibbsPeople want to look to producers like Dave Fridmann or Diplo as people who really make or break an album but what these immensely talented people have really done is awoken the talent that had been shivering inside the musicians. Here, Tony Doogan (of Mogwai fame) certainly helped with an outside opinion but, really, it’s Wintersleep that have risen to the occasion, as this is one of the best Canadian rock albums this year. Possessing a crystal clear vision and with nary a note misplayed, each song sparkles with an energy and verve that literally lifted me off my chair with glee. "Archaeologists” starts off unassumingly but when the drums get frantic, with the ever-present ringing guitars and Paul Murphy bellows out "Belly up around/belly up around!,” you want to scream as well. The best indicator of Wintersleep’s mastery of melody on this album comes in the lightest piece, "Weighty Ghost,” where the pronounced beat and jangle-y feel give this pop song a great elegiac feel. When Murphy notes, "What will become of us?” on the fabulous "Oblivion,” it feels like a meaningless query, as they’ve just made a flawless record. (Labwork, www.labworkmusic.com)
What did you do differently this time around? Guitarist Tim D’Eon: We pretty much took a song a day and we would try and finish the song, so we’d get a different sense for the drums and the guitar sounds each day. It was kind of cool to work on it like that since for our other records we’ve done all the bed tracks in the first couple of days, like all with the same type of sounds, and with this record we took each song as an individual entity and record it that way. We were able to play with different sounds, especially on the drums and guitars.
How did Tony Doogan get involved?We’re all huge fans of Mogwai and Belle & Sebastian, so when we found out that he was available it was a really easy choice. He was quite excited because he’s a big fan of The Trailer Park Boys and we managed to round up a signed DVD for him and he was ecstatic about this because his buddies over there, like the Mogwai guys, are right into The Trailer Park Boys. (Labwork)