Album Stream: Wintersleep – ‘The Great Detachment’

Listen to it first on Clash...

Wintersleep are a remarkably self-contained unit.

The Canadian group have managed to reach out to the world while retaining their independence, touring alongside the likes of Pearl Jam, The Hold Steady and even Sir Paul McCartney.

Now, though, it's time for the band to come full circle. 'The Great Detachment' is Wintersleep's first album in four years, and it re-connects with those fabled early recordings.

Producer Tony Doogan was on hand to steer sessions at Halifax’s Sonic Temple, a familiar setting for the group. It's an atmospheric return, with the introspective yet spacious songwriting matched against some wonderful arrangements.

Out on March 4th, it's a beautiful return from a group who simply deserve your attention. Clash has the first play of 'The Great Detachment' – check it out after the following introduction from Wintersleep…

We are Wintersleep from Montreal / Nova Scotia and Toronto Kanada! Our new record is called The Great Detachment. The title is taken from the song 'Spirit', which is featured on the record. Though it’s not a concept album, detachment is a thread that weaves throughout the album lyrically- physical detachment, mental detachment, emotional detachment, moral detachment, detachment as a means of self-preservation and discovery, in all its lightness and weight.

With our friend and co-producer / collaborator Tony Doogan, we were hoping and trying to get something on record that felt quite urgent, together and raw akin to our live show, or I guess what we hope our live show feels like at its best. To achieve this, we thought it would be interesting to record the rhythm guitars, bass and drums together live to tape and set a limit of three attempts (the length of the tape) per song. We spent another week adding layers to the tracks, recording group vocals and various instruments that we didn’t own and or that sounded best in big spaces: grand pianos, 12-string guitars, hollers, Kazoos, lapsteels, amplifiers turned impossibly-loud.

After that we hopped in a rental, borrowed some pre-amps and microphones and drove to a cottage in Kingsport NS that we essentially refurbished into a large not-quite-sound-proof vocal booth. We recorded the main vocals there and swam in the ocean (located 50 meters away) during breaks throughout the day when the tide allowed for it. The hope was that some of the salty ocean air would seep into it all.

The record was mixed with Gus Van Go & Werner F. (Stills, White Horse, Rah Rah) and Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals, Withered Hand) and the release will be through Dine Alone Records in February 2016. Thanks so much for taking the time to read through this and more importantly thanks for listening!

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