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"New Inheritors"

Wintersleep – New Inheritors
26 July 2010, 13:28 Written by Ryan Butcher

Wintersleep are criminally underappreciated. In the last seven years, they have released four sublimely crafted indie-Americana albums, up to and including their latest release, New Inheritors.

Whether or not a Canadian band from Halifax, Nova Scotia, can reproduce an American-folk sound akin to Wilco and Calexico is an argument for another time.

From the brooding echo of ‘Experience the Jewel’, through to the existential frustration of ‘Baltic’, New Inheritors is an exploration of the human consciousness, demonstrating artistic integrity most bands can only aspire to, and cementing the long-standing belief that Canada saves music.

One half of the record dilutes their often-hinted at post-rock influences of their previous album Welcome to the Night Sky, with tracks like ‘Black Camera’ and ‘New Inheritors’ instead channelling an aggressive urgency which has long-been teased at by fellow countrymen Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene in some of their broodier moments.

Meanwhile, the other half suggests a revelation of shoegaze and alt-rocks sensibilities, with tracks like ‘Trace Decay’, ‘Blood Collection’ and ‘Mausoleum’ harking towards Black Francis at his most furiously experimental, or if Kevin Drew had decided to form a supergroup in Nebraska featuring Tim Kasher et al.

In the wake of breakout commercial success from the likes of Fleet Foxes, and the aforementioned Arcade Fire, one would expect Wintersleep to have garnered more recognition than that restricted to the indie elite.

But you know what they say about every cloud and all that – at least New Inheritors further justifies the grandiose frustration from Wintersleep’s fan base.

New Inheritors is an endearing collection of finely crafted tales of escapism, lament, and mistakes, and while it’s not likely to shift a lot of units over here in the United Kingdom, it’ll surely feature highly on many muso’s end-of-the-year lists, while simultaneously preserving the rare charm and grace which make the band that little bit special.

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