For some reason Wintersleep have yet to gain the respect they deserve in America. These Canadians have put in the work to produce a solid discography over the past decade and their fifth full-length, Hello Hum, is poised to (finally) be their American calling card.
A mixture of traditional pop arrangements, fuzzy synths and just enough quirkiness give this album the range to please the masses, as long as they find it. The album may kick off with a the powerful “Hum” but it’s the most recent single “Nothing is Anything” that makes you really understand the band’s abilities. Simply put, it’s one of those songs that is pleasantly relaxing. While it may be a love song (with lyrics like “nothing is anything without you, babe”) but it transcends the realm of a cliché because of the overall vibe. It’s not one of those songs that some Katherine Heigl rom-com would put into a vital scene because the producers want some indie band’s ballad; instead it’s smart and doesn’t grow tiresome one repeated listens.
Another standout track is “Saving Song.” Paul Murphy’s vocals dance over distant rhythms. So many of these slow jams can really disrupt the flow of an album, but this one comes halfway through Hello Hum and is somewhat of a turning point from the upbeat to the thoughtful.
Hello Hum’s range of melodramatic pop songs isn’t out to prove anything. It’s not written to have one overly infectious hit that everyone gets sick of a month after its release. Instead Wintersleep focused on evenly distributing their talents and allowed each song to work together to produce an effort that you’d be a fool not to put into your collection.