Deep Dark Woods - Winter Hours
As the names of both the band and record might suggest, the sophomore effort from this four piece group from Saskatchewan is a bit of a dark one. But don’t let that scare you away. The Deep Darks Woods Winter Hours combines haunting lyrics and vocal harmonies with fantastic instrumental work, bringing all the pieces together into a package which, from start to finish, never disappoints.
The album starts on a deceiving note when you consider all of the aforementioned darkness. On ‘Farewell,’ a man leaves his home town to start a new life. He meets a girl, and just when it seems like everything is going to work out for the fellow, she breaks up with him and we find out he ended up in jail after he “plunged a knife in her stomach, and he grabbed her feet / and threw her into the waters so deep.” Here the tone is set, and while the next track is much more upbeat musically (though hardly so lyrically) than the rest of the record, it is this style that remains prevalent throughout the course of Winter Hours.
Looking beyond specific subject matter, Winter Hours is fantastic both vocally and instrumentally. The vocal harmonies created between Ryan Boldt (who also takes writing credit for the majority of the records tracks), Chris Mason and Lucas Goetz are great throughout, and particularly brilliant on ‘How Can I Try’ and ‘Gallows.’ The latter of those two tracks also stands as a testament to some of the best instrumental work on the record. Along with the eight-plus minute closer ‘The Sun Never Shines,’ they boast hypnotizing instrumental breaks that are among the most captivating aspects of the record.
When you read the back cover of Winter Hours and are met with the likes of ‘All the Money is Gone,’ ‘Two Time Loser,’ ‘The Gallows,’ and ‘The Sun Never Shines’ it’s easy to get worried. But The Deep Dark Woods seem to have a knack for doing dark music in such a way that doesn’t detract from the music’s beauty.
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