The Great Detachment

Written by: TL on 10/03/2016 12:25:19

Canadian indie rockers Wintersleep arrive this year at their sixth album "The Great Detachment", yet despite the Great in the title and the bombastic pace, riffs and name of the opening track and leading single "Amerika", the album proves upon scrutiny to be a rather lightweight proposition. Their style is mainly an electric, keyboard-backed indie - reminiscent of the likes of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Mystery Jets - yet the album is permeated by a sense of folksiness that also draws thoughts back to the likes of Band Of Horses and My Morning Jacket.

About the riffs, though, "Amerika", with a k, opens the record at a stately tempo and a pompous signature riff, while the lyrics ask "What am I gonna do, I can't survive on my America?" and you could get the impression that this is the signal of an album of ambitious sounds and considerations to come. You would be wrong, however, as the remaining ten tracks all prove to be very linear and modest in scope, despite further effect-laden signature riffs and vocals. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, simple dynamics that will not shock you at any point, and moods that range from the bloomingly festive and upbeat, to the slightly introverted and contemplative.

Once you accept this, "The Great Detachment" actually serves rather well as an album listen; the songs working out in balanced fashion within their simple premises and most managing to leave enough of an individual imprint to stand out from one another. The three singles - "Amerika", "Santa Fe" and "Territory" - all demonstrate this nicely, as each is deceptively catchy in its own different way, yet "Lifting Cure" and "Freak Out" might as well have been chosen, for how even the quality level is throughout the record.

"The Great Detachment" only disappoints then, if you want more - but then who doesn't? Put the record on and wait attentively for something to impress or captivate you and you'll be waiting a long time to little avail. Arguably it's only the meandering "Shadowless" which conjures a passing feeling of wanting to leave a slightly deeper impact. Yet you're likely to come away from the album with a few of the hooks popping up in your mind for a few days regardless. And that makes you wonder if that's all Wintersleep wanted; to write some pleasant, catchy tunes. If so, they have been successful, but let's put it this way: There's a good chance you have more exciting records presently in rotation, and you might not make it all the way through "The Great Detachment" before switching over to one of them.


Download: Santa Fe, Shadowless, Territory
For The Fans Of: Mystery Jets, Band Of Horses, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, My Morning Jacket

Release date 04.03.2016
Dine Alone Records

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