Thursday, February 16, 2012

Superb new albums from Winterpills, Anais Mitchell with release shows at the Iron Horse on 2/25 and 2/27

Winterpills have built a vibrant career with their exquisite chamber-pop songs that The Washington Post called “densely packed but hugely evocative, tiny bombs of feeling and meaning… fiendishly melodic”, attracting fans from their native New England to the Netherlands and beyond. They are one of the most exciting bands to emerge from Northampton in recent years, adding another chapter to the ever-expanding world of ethereal indie-pop. They play haunting, delicate, dynamic, room-hushingly beautiful music with shimmering melodies and aching lyrics. Fronted by singers Philip Price and Flora Reed, they harmonize closely, often and gorgeously.

They have released four records to critical acclaim and have grown into “a band that is only becoming more essential” (The Hartford Courant). Their fifth album, All My Lovely Goners, is out this Valentine's Day, February 14th.  It follows the 2010 E.P. Tuxedo of Ashes, about which The New York Times wrote, “Around Mr. Price’s gentle voice and the picking of his guitar or banjo, Winterpills gradually builds elegant arrangements steeped in 1960s folk-pop and rootsy rock, hinting at Simon and Garfunkel and Fairport Convention. While the gathered instruments offer some solace, the songs stay haunted.” In addition to touring, Winterpills’ music has been used in numerous television shows including the hit ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, NBC’s Parenthood and the U.K. series Skins. They have shared the stage with such notable and diverse artists as Vampire Weekend, CAKE, Grant-Lee Phillips, St. Vincent, Lisa Germano,  Juana Molina, Crowded House, Fountains of Wayne, Martha Wainwright, The Mountain Goats, as well as Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion who they welcome as very special guests for this Saturday night album release show at the Iron Horse.

 Young Man in America, the fourth album from Vermont-based artist Anaïs Mitchell is out on February 28 on her own Wilderland Records through Thirty Tigers.  Young Man follows Mitchell’s critically beloved 2010 folk opera Hadestown, a modern retelling of the Orpheus myth set in a Depression era America. That album, which featureed guest singers Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Ani Difranco, and Ben Knox-Miller (the Low Anthem), landed her on numerous “Best of 2010” lists including The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Observer. Young Man... is not an opera, but it is an epic tale with multiple protagonists. As a songwriter Mitchell takes on the voices of different characters, men as well as women.. The hero of the title track is “a restless character on a feverish hunt for pleasure and success. Alcohol, fame, money, sex—nothing satisfies him,” says Mitchell. “He’s desirous and very sad.” This character, and the record as a whole, was inspired in part by the every-man-for-himself side of America that she glimpsed during our recent recession.

For her new album, Mitchell continues her work with producer/arranger Todd Sickafoose, who assembled some of NYC’s most sought-after rock and experimental jazz players including guitarist Adam Levy, violinist Jenny Scheinman, and drummers Andrew Borger and Kenny Wollesen. Chris Thile of Punch Brothers appears on mandolin as well alongside Jefferson Hamer and Rachel Ries in a harmonic chorus. Michael Chorney, who scored Mitchell’s last release Hadestown and produced her previous albums (2007’s The Brightness and 2004’s Hymns of the Exiled), makes a guest appearance on guitar.

Tickets for both shows are available at Northampton Box Office,76 Main Street. 413-586-8686 and online at

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