Quick Spins: The Winebirds, Faded Paper Figures and New Age Beatles covers
By: Matthew R. Perrine, Budgeteer News
The Winebirds’ “Séance Hill” (Self-Released, 2010)
WHAT IT IS: Three guys and two girls — all Portland natives — crafting tunes that are A) as indie-tastic as Belle & Sebastian, B) as radio-friendly as Fleetwood Mac or Rilo Kiley and …
WHAT ONE JERK THINKS ABOUT IT: … C) inherently timeless. I’ve only been spinning this record for about a week, but it feels like it’s been with me forever, as if I grew up with it. And this is, by no means, a derogatory statement: I can see myself listening to this one for decades to come as well. Is it the co-ed, layered vocals that do the trick? Or the time-capsule manner in which the band moves from mature musical element to another? Perhaps it’s all of these things. “The Solution” is riveting entertainment; leadoff track “I Obscenity in Thy Mother’s Milk” is just bursting with nervous autumn energy; and “Out in the Van,” with its cries of “You’re gonna leave me by the river,” is as chilling as its hazy narrative allows it to be. … I don’t know much about the group members’ collective hometown of Portland, Ore., but I sure as hell know it’s not as vast and diverse as the Winebirds’ sound is. I’d love to hear a mix tape comprised of key tracks from their influences, just to see how they got to this high level of musicianship as if out of nowhere.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO ABOUT IT: Buy it. This is one of those records that will change your life. No joke. Looking ahead, I can definitely see the Matthew R. Perrine of 2025 rereading this review and chastising himself (myself) for not doing more to broadcast how utterly amazing this group is.
… BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE MY WORD FOR IT: Find the band at www.thewinebirds.com or listen to “Séance Hill” over at http://thewinebirds.bandcamp.com/