Album Reviews

Wintermitts: Heirloom [Album Review]


Written by Fense

It’s the first thing in the morning. I snored a bit last night and thus the girlfriend kicked me out — or rather, I offered to get up and hit the coffee shop early — so she could get a final hour and a half of sleep without my interruption. So I’m a little woozy and haven’t completely come around. I’ve already written two items and I feel they’re a bit bland in comparison to my usual excited self. I really hope this piece, on Heirloom by Wintermitts (MySpace), doesn’t turn out that way, because this group definitely deserves all the excitement they can get.

They’re from Vancouver, BC and they flip back and forth between writing/singing songs in English and French. The EP opens with “En Avion”, a tune in French that is thoroughly enjoyable, and later “Accord Mineur” and “Mer De l’Atlantique” are also in French. They’ve got all the signature pop items — melodica, xylophone, super upbeat melodies, an occasional horn or flute. In fact, the second track, “DANS” also features unique instruments, and sees them carrying the melody much of the time.

“Crossing Bridges” demonstrates just how unique this band can be. The intro into the song features the group’s signature guitar sound combined with a simple flute melody — it’s no surprise why few bands mesh the two in such a way, but it works extremely well here. This song, the album’s fourth, is also the earliest moment we hear male vocals.

So I guess I’m waking up, thanks to this album. I’m getting excited, an item I realized during “Ghost Note”, The Wintermitts’ one instrumental tune; it’s hard not to get excited while listening to The Wintermitts. I mean, their music surely hits all the sensibilities of indie pop, but at the same time it’s totally fresh, totally unique — “Mer De l’Atlantique”, Heirloom’s closing tune, simply emphasizes this statement. The song actually blends English/French vocal and compiles vocals for, perhaps, the albums true high point.

The Wintermitts’ ability to add odd instruments to their mix of songs (and use them in unconventional ways) allows them to set Heirloom apart from other groups and other albums. And while the combination of these instruments may sound a bit strange at first, The Wintermitts blend them in a way that works extremely well. Virtually every song is a hit; by the end of Heirloom, the listener is left wanting more.

Wintermitts: DANS [mp3]

Heirloom by Wintermitts

[CDEP, 2008]

1. En Avion
3. Schoolyard
4. Crossing Bridges
5. Accord Mineur
6. Coniferous
7. Ghost Note
8. Mer De l’Atlantique

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