I went through this phase of listening to a lot of Canadian indie, influenced mostly by the likes of the Weakerthans and the entire Broken Social Scene collective. There’s something about the country I’ve always been drawn to, a connection between it and my own borne perhaps of generations of Scottish immigrants (most people I know have some family over there) and a similar climate. There seems to be a similar hunger for collaboration, for side projects (see, for example, the forthcoming release from Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans).
Take all of that, take some gorgeously murky melodies and an upcoming US support slot with none other than The Hold Steady, and you’ve got a surefire way of getting my interest.
New Inheritors is the fourth album from Montreal based – and previous Juno award winners – Wintersleep. The band have actually recently returned from the UK, where they played the End of the Road festival and headline shows in London and Glasgow. I was supposed to be at the latter but unfortunately it clashed with the Mountain Goats: my friend and blog reader Richy assures me the show was fantastic though.
Much of the album was actually recorded here in Glasgow, with Tony Doogan, and I asked singer Paul Murphy how that came about. “Tony Doogan is a sturdy Glaswegian man,” he says. “He spent about three weeks in Montreal with us recording, so we did a sort of exchange when it came time to do the last half of the vocals and strings and such.”
The band’s beautiful name is evocative of their rich, layered sound – perfect for this time of year as the nights get darker and colder. “Tim [d’Eon, guitarist] and I wrote a song called ‘Hibernation’ in a previous band,” Paul explains. “My girlfriend at the time and wife now translated the word into German, which is her native language, so: Winterschlaf, which translates back into English literally as Wintersleep.
“It seemed to be a really nice image and the word seemed to fit a batch of songs we were working on at the time. Was going to be more of an album title initially but just sort of morphed into being the band name, out of practicality I guess.”
And they certainly know about the weather, with “the wind and the rain and then that again” keeping them company on their tour bus – along with the new Wolf Parade record.
The title track from New Inheritors
“We enjoy music,” says Paul. “We like making things in general. Maybe making music is the most natural thing for all of us to venture into. A forest, but a comfortable forest.”
Wintersleep are supporting the Hold Steady throughout the US next month, then will be playing their own headline dates in the US and Canada. “That will bring us to December, then we will sleep a bit,” says Paul. “Hang out with family, go ice skating on Parc Lafontaine maybe.”
For more information, visit Wintersleep.com.
BUY: New Inheritors at Amazon.co.uk