Bundle it up, Winter is coming

Montreal band Winter Gloves explore the awkward moments of adolescence with their new album All Red

Winter Gloves explore the pitfalls and disillusionment of growing up in their sophmore effort.
Winter Gloves explore the pitfalls and disillusionment of growing up in their sophmore effort.
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There are few things in life that send an intense rush of goose bumps racing through your body the same way that discovering a freshly released, purely original indie album does.

It’s the kind of music that radiates a wonderfully eccentric and infectious feeling, while maintaining an essential sense of originality that defines the genre. An LP that masterfully embraces these characteristics is All Red, the latest song compilation of synth heavy beats and deep bass lines from Montreal quartet Winter Gloves.

On All Red, Winter Gloves stick to what they know best and infuse their soft indie rock sound with unexpected twists of glitzy pop and delicate vocals. The playlist is a mixed bag of tunes injected with quirky fun (“Plastic Slides”), spacey beats (“Glow In The Dark”), impressive rhythmic power (“Jump”) and grittier tracks (“Trap the Mouse”).

Emerging onto the music scene for the first time in 2008, little known Indie rockers Winter Gloves scored buzz regarding their debut album About a Girl after band leader Charles F began tossing their demos into the crowd during shows. That led to the group inking a deal with Paper Bag Records, and soon they found themselves touring with big names like Tokyo Police Club.

Winter Gloves is fronted by Charles F on lead vocals, synthesizers and guitar; and laced together with percussionist Patrick Sayers, bassist/synth player Vincent Chaulifour and guitarist Nico Ormiston. Now the group returns to the shelves with All Red, an album heavily inspired by the progression from childhood to the awkward moments of surviving adolescence.

Most of the tracks illuminate the album with youthful radiance, while the more mature songs seem to spoil all the dance floor fun. One electrifying tune in particular is the poppy “Plastic Slides,” a carefree burst of pure sunshine. Another standout is “Glow In The Dark,” a synthesizer driven track woven with cool drumbeats. As the playlist progresses though, it dips into darker musical territory and reveals the band’s weaknesses. While tunes like “Strange Love” and “Use Your Lips” offer the record jolts of dance infused fun, others such as “Trap The Mouse” mellow the mood of the playlist and dull the album.

That’s not to say that the group can’t pull off a darker sound, but they seem to feel more in their element with bouncier tracks. Once those sugary pop confections evaporate from the playlist, the band seems to lose that effortless hippie-cool that’s captured in their catchiest tunes.

All Red dares to reach into the listener’s ears by embodying a sound that’s highly imaginative and creatively thriving. Perhaps the strongest aspect of Winter Glove’s music is its ability to drive the tracks with lyrical genius. Every song exudes quirky lyrics that compliment vocalist Charles F.’s airy croon and the bizarre sounds mixed into each song.

These peculiar lyrics are showcased on “Trap The Mouse,” as he sings in a feather soft tone: “Cover up my ears / Come to the show / It’s far away / I’m standing upside down.” This creative journey is essentially the highlight of the record—the outlandish elements of the album offer a unique twist on its electro-pop-dance hooks and funk infused grooves.

If you ignore the flaws that pepper All Red, you’re left with an album that flirts with daring lyrics and experiments with its sound. It’s an intriguing collection of songs because it refuses to colour inside the lines. There’s something so fascinating about music that teases the listener the way All Red does. Of course, they’re a relatively new name to the Indie music scene, but underrated Winter Gloves present themselves as a force of impressive musical talent and eccentric dynamite. When it all comes down to it, All Red is an album that screams pure fun—and let’s face it—who wants to miss out on that?

Winter Gloves play The Grad Club tonight with Cherry Chapstick. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are available at The Grad Club, Tricolour Outlet and www.ticketscene.ca

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