Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
An introduction to The Wilderness Of Manitoba
MySpaceOpening up with the sound of bird noises might be a bit of an over-sell, but forgiveness comes easily when the multi-layered harmonies of Toronto’s The Wilderness Of Manitoba arrive and usher in their debut EP, Hymns Of Love And Spirits. Sharing members with Provincial Parks and Key Witness, The Wilderness of Manitoba come with a very clear and direct mandate – to craft gentle, intricate folk songs of the sort that no one seems to make anymore. Of course, that’s a mandate that many have taken on in recent years and so, ironically, there’s a good number of artists presently making those sorts of songs.
The Wilderness Of Manitoba still manage to stand tall amongst their peers, however, and stand out. Obviously drawing inspiration from both the English and American folk revivals of the 1960s, they place an emphasis on choral vocals that give the mini-album a certain dreamy quality that splits the difference between spiritual and ghostly. The musical arrangements are similarly kept ethereal, all gentle acoustic guitar, spare percussion with an occasional guest appearance from a banjo, cello or keys and carried aloft on a plush cloud of reverb. It’s a record that drifts by prettily, seemingly untethered from earthly concerns yet tangible enough to still carry a very real emotional heft. It haunts, like a fond but faded memory.
The Wilderness Of Manitoba are playing The Garrison tomorrow night with Olenka & The Autumn Lovers and Slow Down Molasses. BlogTO interviewed the band at the end of the Summer while The Line Of Best Fit had a more recent conversation.
Timber Timbre has made his self-titled debut available as a free download through the end of Saturday, October 31. He plays a free show at the North York Central Library on November 7. It’s all about the free.
PitchforkTV has added a video interview segment with Yo La Tengo to go with their Don’t Look Down session performances. The Skinny, San Diego News Network, The San Francisco Examiner and Vail Daily also have interviews.
Sweden’s Shout Out Louds have completed their new album and named it Work – look for it February 23 of next year.
Mid to late December is usually a real dead zone for tours coming through town, so what are the odds that two shows I’d want to see would arrive on the same night? Apparently pretty good. There’s no way I’m not going to be seeing Fanfarlo at the El Mocambo that night, but am sad that it means missing seeing Blue Roses – aka English singer-songwriter Laura Groves who released a lovely self-titled debut back in the Spring – at the Drake Underground, opening up for Marcus Foster, whom I don’t know at all. There’s no reason I can think of not to be at Fanfarlo, but if you can come up with one it better be because you’re at this show instead.