Winter Villains

Winter Villains – The Air (Barely Regal Records)

Release Date: 4th February 2013

“Experimental chamber pop band based in Cardiff”. Where do you go from there? It’s like turning up to a blind date and introducing yourself as grand chess master with a penchant for dogging and you used to date Joanna Lumley (what? She’s a fine looking lady!). After reading that line in the press release for Winter Villains’ new single ‘The Air’, I was more than a little nervous. Then I pressed play on the video and a sombre, calm but tense opening strains seep out from my laptop with enough force to stop a train. Sparse piano and some beautifully understated vocal harmonies are all that is needed to create an aura of peace, sadness and a touch of regret. It’s no surprise to read that some of the people involved in the recording of this track have previously worked with the likes of Sigur Ros, the High Llamas and Mogwai), Winter Villains possess the same ability to create atmospheres without ignoring the art of songwriting. There is a definite Welsh feel to this as well with hints of Gruff Rhys at his most introspective or Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci back in the day. This is truly beautiful stuff and the video that accompanies the song is a work of art too – wonderfully shot, acted with subtlety and despite the sad theme, there is a warmth that is simply irresistible. I, for one, and going to call this blind date again.