Published Apr 21, 2015Winters, the latest album from the Never Surprise, marks a change in direction for the Vancouver-based band. The departure of co-founder Nick Eakins in 2013 left David Gaudet as the project's sole songwriter, and the band's sound has shifted from the acoustic-dominated folk of their 2011 self-titled album to what the band's Bandcamp page refers to as "electric indie rock musings."
The album, which features contributions from Adam Nanji (The Belle Game), Andrew Braun (Rococode), Robbie Driscol, (Hannah Georgas) and Niko Friesen (The Zolas), is imbued with a dreamy quality owing to the airy production and Gaudet's relaxed delivery. On opening track "No Dispute," his breathy, layered vocals and gently strummed electric guitar ease listeners into the record before the band wraps them in a soothing blanket of hushed synth a minute and a half later.
Musically, "No Real Me" pairs an urgent, driving verse with a chorus that evokes Phantom Planet's The Guest, while "Limousine" and "Ocean" sound like José González/Junip crossed with mid-'80s New Order. Each successive track is better than the one before, and album closer "Picket Line" is, appropriately, the best of the bunch. From start to finish, Winters is a solid record; it'll be interesting to see what Gaudet and the Never Surprise do next. (Independent)