Welcome to the Night Sky
October 2nd 2007
Wintersleep formed in 2002 in Halifax Nova Scotia. Paul Murphy and Loel Campbell collaborated on songs that were unsuited for the various other projects in which they were engaged. What began as a repository for odd ends, emerged as a well spring of potential. With the help of various recruits Wintersleep made use of their creative resources to produce an album of exceeding excellence. Welcome to the Night Sky is themed with violence and illness, words referenced as key phrases on multiple tracks. Borderline depression asserts and capitulates itself throughout the record, although the mood is not formed out of self loathing or inadequacy. The “unknown self” quarantines the words to a weighty inner dialogue, with questions as often rhetorical as they are inquisitive.
Mouth full of teeth chewed up and spit on the ground
When I speak, are my words just white naked sound?
Carelessly rendered and scattered around
The lyrics are particularly artful. The poetics of the words are reinforced by a lack of repetition. There is little resemblance to the typical verse, chorus, bridge, reprise structure. The words are wrought with anxiety and self reflection. They expose the self interrogation undergone by those who do not know what to make of the world, let alone themselves. The lyrics suffer from a strange detachment of mind from body, and question the nature of such detachment. The mind is as anatomical as the brain. As we try to describe the phenomena of the mind, we visualize its throne and all its biological susceptibilities.
Oh my, I feel the teeth again
Gnawing and eminent in the lost lonely night.
Oh my, give me the words again, paint it aluminium, make it white, make it white.
The music is not as provocative as the lyrics, but even with occasional pop-rock simplicities, it provides an infectious mode through which the obscure words can be implanted into our own consciousness. The music rarely challenges the listener; however its accessibility will not leave the sour taste of conformity in your mouth. During its blissful moments of intensity, the music is textured with synthesizers and sprawling guitars. On balance it is yet again another exciting band to emerge from Canada. I am extraordinarily pleased with Wintersleep’s Welcome to the Night Sky. Their next stop in New York will find a warm reception.