Due to play a show at Uncle Slayton's on Sunday, March 18, Flora Reed and Philip Price of Massachusetts-based Indie band, Winterpills are also celebrating the release of their fifth studio album, All My Lovely Goners, which came out on Valentine's Day. Songwriter and guitarist Price shares vocal duties with Reed, who also plays keyboards, but they will be without the rest of their band for the show Sunday night.
Known for their gentle harmonies and rather melancholy chamber pop sound, the new Winterpills album carries on both those aspects in songs that deal with themes of love and death, but it feels lighter somehow. In fact, listening to it as spring approaches with the first trembling buds and drooping daffodils, All My Lovely Goners seems to share something of the season's lovely fragility. Granted, the first song, "We Turned Away," features words spoken from the grave -- which IS pretty melancholy -- but it's offset by the sprightly quality of guest musician Carol Hutter's viola wrapping around the lyrics that speak of dewdrops and lime-green leafs. By the next song, "Amazing Sky," you're on your way to being hooked.
The song "Rogue Highway" ups the tempo considerably with drummer Dave Hower setting the pace. Jangly guitars are punctuated by hand claps, and the harmonies of Price and Reed put me in mind just a bit of The Mamas and the Papas. The songs are beautifully crafted throughout, fully fleshed out by Dennis Crommet on guitar and bassist Brian Akey. I find that the more I return to the album, the more it grows on me. Each listen reveals another layer -- whether it's the sweet harmonies, the unexpected appearance of strings or horns, or the poetic, pastoral lyrics. Intelligent and textured, this is an album that rewards repetition. If you're not already familiar with the Winterpills, this is a great chance to get to know them.
Reed and Price will play at Uncle Slayton's (1017 E. Broadway) at 8:00 p.m. this Sunday night. Tickets are $8 in advance via Ticketfly.com or $10 at the door.
Check out the promo for All My Lovely Goners, featuring bits of "Rogue Highway" and other new songs: