Shining through amongst the abundance of seemingly punk-influenced bands making themselves known at the moment are Winter Villains. It’s ethereal and otherworldly, and, in fact, a very welcome dose of peace.
Described as ‘chamber pop’, the band combine classical influences with an indie-pop twist and, incredible vocals aside, the band’s musicality is also astonishing. The multi-instrumentalisation, combined with the electronic programming. creates a sense of absolute euphoria: the vocals only add to this, with well considered harmonies that transport you to some sort of Narnia-esque woodland. It’s very layered, but simultaneously controlled; whilst I’d say it’s definitely easy listening, this is no bad thing. It’s arguably the complexity and careful consideration that allows this – the band manage to use unusual instruments, and bring a sense of eclecticism without it becoming messy or disorderly.
With their debut released in 2013, Winter Villains have spent the last couple of years playing festivals – Green Man, 2000 Trees, Hay Festival – and receiving interest from the likes of 6Music and Radio 1. It’s not difficult to see why they’re getting the recognition that they are and, with their second album Once There Were Sparks, Now There Are Ashes on the way (preceded by single ‘Empire’), their potential can only increase.
Once There Were Sparks, Now There Are Ashes is out 11th May, preceded by ‘Empire’ out 13th April.
Catch Winter Villains live:
27th March – The Grain Barge, Bristol
23rd April – Oxford Contemporary Art, Oxford
24th April – The Globe, Hay on Wye
25th April – Sebright Arms, London
15th May – Phipps NBC, Northampton
16th May – Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
22nd May – St Paul’s Church, Cambridge
23rd May – Union Chapel, London
18th July – Harbour Festival, Bristol
20th July – Irregular Folk, Midsummer’s Weekend Festival, Oxford
(Plus more to be confirmed)