Wintersleep - Hello Hum 2012-C4 + CD FLAC-PERFECT

MUSiC, Album. June 16, 2012 by nico.

The indie rock group doesn't plan far in advance, for fear of zapping what might result from a burst of impromptu creativity. In fact, they had just one plan during the lead-up to the group's fifth recording, Hello Hum, which arrives June 12.

Wintersleep - Hello Hum [2012] [Album]
EMI Music Canada / 50999-947638-29 / CD
MP3 V0 (VBR) / Scene

The members of Wintersleep leave a lot to chance, especially when it comes to the songwriting process.

No plan at all.

With members spread out in two cities -- keyboardist Jon Samuel lives in Halifax, while drummer Loel Campbell, singer-guitarist Paul Murphy and guitarist Tim D'eon live in Montreal -- nothing is entirely easy for Wintersleep. The band gets together shortly before each tour, at their jam space/studio in Montreal, to rehearse. These sessions at Mount Zoomer, the space previously occupied by Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire, are usually where song ideas come from, Campbell said.

"It basically goes idea to idea. We try and flush each of them out and see if it is something we want to take forward."

Campbell, Murphy and D'eon write most of the music as a unit, but the lyrical content is mostly by Murphy. Sometimes, he writes them in advance, Campbell said, and sometimes they come into being while the song is being recorded. Either way, Campbell said, Murphy works within the constructs of each song.

"The new record has a number of considerable upbeat jams, and that affected where these lyrics were going to go."

Murphy's lyrics went to a somewhat happy place on Hello Hum. New Inheritors, the band's previous outing, included numerous sets of foreboding lyrics ("Decomposed, metamorphosed/ In the grass of your open chest" can be heard on the song "Mausoleum") that earned the band a reputation for being morbid.

"He kind of plateaued there," Campbell said with a laugh.

"The lyrics on the new record, the majority of them could be called love songs in a way. The last record had some serious darkness, but I find this to be his most light collection of lyrics in quite some time."

Hello Hum was recorded at Tarbox Road Studios with production whiz Dave Fridmann, who gained fame for his work on recordings by Mercury Rev, MGMT and the Flaming Lips. Campbell said Fridmann was a fan of the newly upbeat sounds Wintersleep brought to the sessions, though he often wanted to hear them at a faster tempo.

"More often than not, that was his first comment," Campbell said with a laugh. "Play it faster."

Fridmann co-produced Hello Hum with Tony Doogan -- producer of the Scottish band Mogwai -- with whom Fridmann had collaborated in the past. Their union was somewhat fortuitous, Campbell said. The band had hoped to work with Doogan and Fridmann during the sessions for 2007's Welcome to the Night Sky, but Fridmann was unavailable at the time.

Doogan produced Welcome to the Night Sky on his own, but the stars aligned for Hello Hum, as both had open schedules. "We really lucked into it," Campbell said.

Wintersleep has never had a problem with making superb-sounding records. Getting those songs played on the radio, however, is another story, Campbell said.

A digital advance of Hello Hum was sent to media with an additional track, a radio remix of the album's first single, "In Came the Flood." That has become the norm for Wintersleep, to a degree. The song (whose existence caught Campbell off-guard) follows the path of radio remixes of past singles "Preservation" and "Weighty Ghost," both of which were designed to give what Campbell calls a "non-singles band" a radio hit.

"People that work in the team are concerned about that stuff, but look at me, I didn't even know there was a radio mix of 'In Came the Flood,'" he joked.

"It must be insanely stressful to put forth a band like ours, and to get us added to alternative radio stations across the country. We don't really fit the format."

01. Hum
02. In Came The Flood
03. Nothing Is Anything (Without You)
04. Resuscitate
05. Permanent Sigh
06. Saving Song
07. Rapture
08. Unzipper
09. Someone, Somewhere
10. Zones
11. Smoke

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