The Wilderness of Manitoba When You Left The Fire

The Wilderness of Manitoba When You Left The Fire
From the middle of Toronto, ON comes the Wilderness of Manitoba with a lavish follow-up to their 2009 EP, Hymns of Love and Spirits. In between accessible, melodic opener "Orono Park" and the closing 13 minutes of pure, crackling atmosphere fall an assortment of evocative indie folk ramblings. Although the band's reverb-y, choral-style vocals are reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, there's too much distinctive musical chemistry on When You Left The Fire to permit the comparison to stick for long. The churchy vibe created by the choir of singers and the cathedral-ceiling resonance are peeled back, at times, to make way for a simple, plucked acoustic sound, creating a nice balance that keeps the album fresh. The tremendous blooming of "Summer Fires" into a hair-raising, harmony-heavy slice of symphonic glory, the blissed-out jam that ends "Native Tongue" and the poignant banjo line of "In The Family" all stand out on this unique, challenging, diverse recording. (Independent)