Emergence from hiberation

Wintersleep’s setting off on a cross-Canada tour with Elliott Brood

Guitarist Tim D’Eon says Wintersleep isn’t sick of playing “Weighty Ghost” at concerts.
Guitarist Tim D’Eon says Wintersleep isn’t sick of playing “Weighty Ghost” at concerts.

Wintersleep has reached musical maturity with their latest album Ho Hum.

For guitarist Tim D’Eon, collaboration and focus define the record.

“Last time, we stuck with what we do live, and stayed within our comfort zone,” he said, “On this record we did a lot of sharing of instruments. This process had so much more communication.”

Ho Hum isn’t a dramatic departure from the band’s past albums and it succeeds as a polished product.

From the opening synthetic chords, it re-imagines the West Coast indie sound they helped define with albums like the 2007 Juno award-winner Welcome To The Night Sky.

The band embraced digital instrumentals and electro-pop influences in their new album but they still stayed true to their indie rock roots.

Loel Campbell’s drumming is driving and constant, while Jon Samel’s synthesizer work in the chorus of “Permanent Sigh” completes a whole sound that at times is symphonic.

Intricate rhythms on the first single, “In Came the Flood” make it D’Eon’s new live favourite.

The track shows off the band’s immense technical ability and cohesiveness, refined by years of playing together.

The repetition and monotony of having a hit single can take its toll, but it isn’t something D’Eon is irritated by.

“There was a while when it felt like every radio session we did everyone just wanted to hear ‘Weighty Ghost.’ But we never really get sick of it, we still play it live — we play it almost every show,” he said.

D’Eon said the band has shifted weight from that song to more unexpected and thrilling tunes to play live.

“There’s a song we do from our second record called ‘Nerves Normal’ and that changes every night. There’s a lot of improvisation in this kind of instrumental section,” he said. “You never what’s going to happen — it could be five minutes long, or 10 or 12. If the crowd’s into it we’ll take it a little longer and make it a little trippier.”

Wintersleep plays Ale House on Monday with Elliott BROOD. Doors open at 9 p.m.

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