Released in October 2015 the self-titled debut album by Derbyshire band Wintering might have been one which passed you by but is definitely one you should be taking a listen to.
The three have gone on to other musical projects since the release of the album – as Arsey Rob, in Crime Wolf, and Norwich band Ghost Noises – which sailed under the radar of many despite being packed with experimental and ambient sounds.
Across the album there’s a blend of electro-noise, stripped back ambience and post-punk vocals. From the harsh, scrabbling assault of Thumbless to the violence-loaded lyrics giving a sinister element to the tremolo guitars of April, the juxtaposition of the precision of electronica and the hazier, imperfection of the human touch. This is pale sunshine, the drowsy warmth of a late summer’s day, albeit one amid the stark industrial lines of Krautrock.
The artwork speaks of spaces; two fingers pulling the black, white and urban map into the verdant and colourful realism of nature. And this importance of space, and the influence place can have, carried through into the recording of the album. Where a studio was eschewed in favour of more unusual recording spots, removing the reliance on creativity to turn up on cue, and the pressure of paid-for but limited time.
The band instead kept it looser, recording as and when inspiration struck from rooms in various houses, to churches, barns and old factories. The videos too move away from the standard of depicting the meaning, and even places the band as secondary to the music, instead the tracks are tethered only to the performance of contemporary dancer Joanna Leah Geldard. The album’s focus is pulled away from the consuming of the final piece, back toward the intangible act of creation.
Melodically this looser, sponteneous approach, sounds though. The tracks are ambient, with echoes of Krautrock, math rock and classic indie – quiet and insistent, the fallow silence of the places it was made heavy in the notes.
While it may now be 18 months in public, and have marked the end of Wintering as a band, the self-titled collection of ambient songs made in a creatively exploratory manner remains a collection worthy of repeated, and rewarding, listens.
The self-titled album is available now as pay what you like on Bandcamp.