The Winter Blanket
After his turn producing Modest Mouse’s major label debut The Moon and Antarctica, Brian Deck has become fairly synonymous with indie rock of a certain caliber and sound. With The Winter Blanket’s latest EP he helps cement the band’s penchant for dark, languid and loose compositions within crystalline parameters. The closest touchstone here is Rilo Kiley and their spitfire take on Americana. Stephanie Devila’s vocal delivery and diction are a spot-on approximation of Jenny Lewis, it’s uncanny. Her tracks especially coast by with a frosty fluidity that lives up to their band’s name, where each instrument is framed with enough silence to render them naked in the slower passages, but with a burning urgency when they cut their rocking tendencies free. Much like Rilo Kiley, The Winter Blanket’s somewhat lesser tracks come from the male counterpart of the songwriting equation. On tracks like “Neil Young Blues” his vocals are too breathy, too off-key to stand up in the wake of Devila’s sweet invocations. That said, his Mazzy Star-esque turn on the title track is inspired. There’s no re-invention of the wheel here, but with indie rock’s big guns dragging their heels in releasing new material, The Winter Blanket could make strides at usurping some of their fan base.
The Winter Blanket: www.blanketmusic.com