Winterpills - Winterpills / self-titled


(Signature Sounds/Soft Alarm)

First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2006, Volume 13, #8

Written by John Metzger


The Winterpillsí self-titled debut perfectly conveys in sound the groupís moment of conception when, united in an old house in western Massachusetts, the musicians forged their collective friendship around the songs that they shared as winter settled outside. The spirits of Elliott Smith and Nick Drake weigh heavily upon the set, but as the album progresses ó and its coffeehouse folk blossoms into a richly atmospheric wonderland of bittersweet beauty ó it quickly becomes apparent that the bandís vision is far more expansive. Indisputably gray-hued, yet dappled with rays of sunshine, the music barely rises above a whisper, thus providing a suitable accompaniment to the dissolving relationships and fragile emotional states that are depicted in the Winterpillsí lyrics. Lending the collection a magical aura, however, is the alchemical interplay between vocalists Phillip Price and Flora Reed, which frequently conjures the same sort of warm intimacy that pervades much of Belle & Sebastianís work. Elsewhere, Beatle-esque guitars tug at Threshing Machineís shimmering melody, laying bare the angst its characters are trying so heartbreakingly hard to hide, while Want the Want situates itself neatly between Simon & Garfunkelís back-to-back gems Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and Bookends. Nevertheless, itís lost innocence and the harmonic convergence of The Mamas and The Papasí If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears that not only figures prominently on both Laughing and Pills for Sara, but also serves as the thematic touchstone to which the ensemble returns continuously throughout its eponymous effort. Treading lightly, but leaving a hefty impression, the Winterpills essentially has sculpted, from arrangements that flutter and flicker in the wind, an intoxicating outing that is steeped in the sad facets of humanity. starstarstarstar


Of Further Interest...

Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels

Josh Ritter - Golden Age of Radio

David Smith - Fastest Machine


Winterpills is available from
Barnes & Noble. To order, Click Here!



1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box