Our old Nova Scotia pals Wintersleep unleash their latest on Friday, March 29, so it's more than fitting they kick off an East Coast tour tonight (see dates below). In The Land Of contains songs from on the group's two great strengths, extremely catchy tunes albeit slightly unsettling and eerie ones. Check out Beneficiary for instance, with its disco-beat chorus and downright happy-sounding verse, until it sinks in that it begins "All my days I open up my eyes/Beneficiary of a genocide." The point is don't get too comfortable, remember how you got there.
Land is the theme of the set, how we relate to our surroundings, and how we can feel out of place. And isn't that perfect for this band, which always make songs where singer Paul Murphy seems at odds with the happy tune the group has concocted. Never Let You Go has a cheery Paul Simon/Me & Julio rhythm going on, but the lyric relates, "I can't communicate with friends and family/I can't communicate with anybody." Other cuts, such as Soft Focus, are tougher, with crunchy and angular guitar chords, but still have lots of uplifting melody to lean on.
Don't fear the themes though, this isn't some hackneyed prog concept album, Wintersleep is too experienced and thoughtful a group to fall for anything trite. They've made every song captivating and a listening pleasure, and having the lyrics so thoughtful is a gift that keeps giving each listen. A pleasure all around.
Catch some 'Sleep at the following:
Wednesday, Mar. 27 - Moncton, NB//The Tide & Boar
Thursday, March 28 - Fredericton//Boyce Farmers Market
Friday, March 29 - Halifax//The Marquee
Saturday, Mar. 30 - Halifax//The MarqueeSunday, March 31 - St. John's//Club One