Friday, April 5th, 2013
A Year In Its Passing
The Wilderness Of Manitoba explores the wilderness of Leslieville
Jennifer RowsomFor a band with such a clear and steady aesthetic – delicately pretty, harmony-laden folk with direct spiritual and sonic roots in the ’60s – The Wilderness Of Manitoba have gone through their fair share of changes. The lineup that emerged from Toronto’s Deleware House with 2009’s Hymns of Love and Spirits and 2010’s When You Left The Fire lost vocalist Melissa Dalton and added drummer Sean Lancaric and vocalist/violinist Amanda Balsys for last year’s Island Of Echoes, and as the band prepares to release a new short collection of songs next Tuesday as The Leslieville Sessions – so named for the east-end Toronto studio where it was recorded live off the floor.
And The Wilderness Of Manitoba that recorded these songs is again not the same outfit that assembled their last record. Frontman Will Whitwham is the only one remaining from the band that first emerged in 2009, and while the source of their inspiration remains unchanged, the way that its manifested is quite different. Their signature three- and four-part harmonies have largely given way to focusing on the interplay between Whitwham and Balsys voices, with Balsys also taking a turn at lead vocals, and while Leslieville is still a far cry from being filed under “rock”, the increased presence of electrified instruments and percussion give it a welcome weight that, until now, was only present in their live shows. For all the changes that The Wilderness Of Manitoba continue to undergo, probably the most important one is that they continue to get better.
The Leslieville Sessions is out on Tuesday, and I’m pleased to be able to host an advance stream of it. Check it out, as well as a live video of the recording of the opening track. Another performance video of an Island Of Echoes track can be seen at Exclaim. Their current tour itinerary takes them through the Maritimes this week, and then after a few New York dates, their next local show is April 28 at Campbell House Museum, at the corner of Queen West and University.
Video: Decades – “In Sequins”
The Dumbing Of America talks to Odonis Odonis, who open up for METZ at Lee’s Palace on May 17 and have just put out a new video from last year’s debut Hollandaze. They also have a new EP in Better coming out April 16, and are streaming a couple new tracks from that.
Stream: No Joy – “Hare Tarot Lies”
Majical Cloudz has a new video from his forthcoming debut Impersonator, out May 21. He opens up for Youth Lagoon at The Great Hall on May 13 and will be back the following month for NXNE.
NYC Taper is sharing a recording of a couple Stars shows in Brooklyn last month, and if you’re more of a “see” than “hear”, Paste has video of their entire Mercury Lounge show from that same week and The Alternate Side a video session available to watch. They’re back in town as a part of Field Trip at Garrison Common on June 8.
Exclaim and The Quietus talk to The Besnard Lakes, who’ve just premiered the first video from the just-released Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO at Rolling Stone, and if anyone missed it, a non-geoblocked stream of the album is up at Pitchfork.
Video: Woodpigeon – “Robin Song”