Image credit: Tamara Grayson
Supported by The Huffington Post, Atwood Magazine, The Nashville Scene, Daytrotter, The Columbus Dispatch, and many more, The Winter Sounds have toured North America and Canada, played over 200 shows in just one year alone, including festivals such as SXSW and CMJ, have released four critically acclaimed albums, and now bring us their latest, much awaited EP, Grand Gestures, teasing their full upcoming album, ‘Jupiter’, set for early 2024 release and which will be produced by Derek Garten (Taylor Swift).
The Grand Gestures EP is brimming with good vibes, poetic lyrics, and Keenan’s signature vocal style. Their stand-out track ‘Ocean Waves’ is no different, sure to get your feet tapping and your body moving while you sing out alongside the chorus at the top of your lungs.
For over a decade, The Winter Sounds have delivered a unique blend of danceable post-punk and 80s new wave in frenetic high-energy live shows, from house parties and clubs to festivals all over North America including SXSW, CMJ, Midpoint, Savannah Stopover, Athfest, Otherfest, Halifax Pop Explosion, Fall for Greenville, and even a luchadores-themed prom in Monterrey, Mexico.
Fronted by founding member Patrick Keenan, the band has released 4 critically-acclaimed studio albums: Porcelain Empire (2007); Church of the Haunted South (2010); Runner (2013), engineered by Scott Solter (Spoon, St. Vincent) and mixed by Derek Garten (Taylor Swift, Thunderbitch); and Maximum Reality (2018), engineered and mixed by Derek Garten (with two tracks mixed by Jason Kingsland [Band of Horses, Washed Out]); along with several EPs and singles: Land of No Output (2006); L’été des Trois Michel(l)es (2012); and Ghosts of Christmas Past (2020).
Toeing the line between alternative and power-pop, the band’s first single and video “Windy City Nights” off Porcelain Empire, won MTV’s contest ‘The Freshman,’ which put the video in heavy rotation at MTVU, and launched the band on a years-long tour of the USA and Canada, playing over 200 shows in 2007 alone. In the years that followed, TWS kept up their touring regimen, crisscrossing the country several times in support of Church of the Haunted South, one of Atlanta A-list’s top 10 albums of the year, and Blowupradio.com placed the band’s first three albums in their top 10 albums of their respective release years. The first single off Runner, ‘Sun Also Rises’, abounds with the frenetic live energy that the band is known for, mixing elements of danceable post-punk and contemporary electro-pop with an ’80’s flair, and was the featured video on CMJ’s New Music Monthly website in 2012. The 2015 single ‘Meteor’ was written for Keenan’s friend, the comedian Rory Scovel, and was featured in Scovel’s first comedy special, The Charleston Special. ‘Meteor’ is an epic, ambient power ballad that showcases the slick, bombastic production style of producer/engineer Derek Garten. In early 2023, it was adapted into an AI-art-inspired music video by Switzerland AI artist, Dreaming Tulpa. In 2017, The Winter Sounds released the single ‘Broken Bodies’ for Scovel’s follow-up comedy special Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the First Time, which featured a guest appearance by Jack White, and was picked up by Netflix with the song ‘Broken Bodies’ featured in the trailer. Keenan also contributed the song ‘Penpals’ for the podcast PenPals featuring Daniel Van Kirk and Rory Scovel. In 2018, TWS received “radiant” praise for the ‘Heartbeats’ music video, shot in and around Viljandi, Estonia, by filmmaker Zbanski Kino. Huffington Post said of the video, “The variety of unpolluted images finance a juxtaposition of the beauty of nature and the narrow perspective of proximity to dislocated cultural artifacts, adding a surreal eccentricity to the video …deliver[ing] visual images approaching expressionistic art.”
The second single and video off Maximum Reality, ‘Earth After a Thunderstorm’ (also shot and directed in Estonia by Zbanski Kino) premiered on Atwood Magazine, which wrote, “The Winter Sounds is an indie daydream, to say the least… [Their] expansive collection … draws inspiration from some of the best and most loved corners of music. From post-punk to dream-pop, it’s not hard to categorize, but doing so only limits the expanses of the instrumental expression in each track.”
Keenan, who lives in Pardubice, Czech Republic, returned to the USA to record Grand Gestures, which was tracked and mixed by guitarist, Paul McKenna, at his New Orleans’ studio, Fine Cutlery.