Sometimes you’re not sure what to expect from an album. W I N T E R’s debut, ‘In The Dark’, was certainly one of those for me.
Brother duo, Matt and Joe Winter, work on opposite sides of the country. Matt works on the music and Joe writes the lyrics. They then come together to produce exquisite harmonies (as noted by none other than Q Magazine) and folk you can listen to comfortably, even if you just dabble in the genre.
Released by Wild Sound, their debut album boasts fifteen tracks and it’s clear from the get go that the concept of this album is strong throughout every track. Most notably, the introductory ‘Empty as Lions’ and the closing ‘Bear Man Gun II’ both begin with spoken word and sounds of the sea.
Matt and Joe are no strangers to telling stories with music. To appear alongside this album, they’ve enlisted in the help of artists and filmmakers to create short films for chosen tracks. Prominent names who have contributed to this effort include Stuart Pearson Wright (‘Bear Man Gun’), Throstur Valgardsson (‘Watch Me Run’), Laurence Topham (‘Father Time’) and the soon-to-be-released video for ‘The Sea Bites Back’ has been created by Joe’s wife, Kate Winter.
With such creativity working behind the scenes, it’s no surprise that the brothers have delivered an excellent debut effort. From bewitching, layered harmonies and vocals for fans of Dylan and Cash, ‘In The Dark’ has a little something for everyone. Although folk is the overwhelming influence, the jazzy electric guitar in ‘The Sea Bites Back’ and ‘My Father’s Only Spade’ lift the songs brilliantly. If you’re in the mood for organic, butterfly-inducing ballads then look no further than ‘You Make This House Sing’.
Closing off on the incredibly strong ‘Bear Man Gun’ and ‘Bear Man Gun II’, the album will leave you wanting to play it over and over again, just to try and make out all of the small, nuanced background sounds. It’s an intriguing record from start to finish, and the Winter brothers should be incredibly proud of themselves.
If the album isn’t enough for you, then luckily W I N T E R are off on the road for a few dates in May:
5 May – Servant Jazz Quarters, London.
15 May – The Portland Arms, Cambridge.