Wintersleep
Welcome To The Night Sky


4.5
superb

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
February 8th, 2010 | 81 replies | 12,955 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Do you still believe in God? / Said the Preacher to the Astronaut / I heard it's kind of lonesome there"

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

I forget sometimes how personal a form of art music is. Objectivity be damned, I feel strongly that what an artist puts into a piece isn’t quite as important as the listener’s mood, surrounding, and overall setting. Welcome to the Night Sky is my slice of personal proof for this little truism. It all began a few years ago, when I set out on a distance run. It was a chilly January afternoon and we had a coating of snow the night before. Little did I know that my random choice of an album I hadn’t heard before, Welcome to the Night Sky, would handily overtake my run for the day in terms of a resounding experience. I have to admit, it didn’t quite sink in at first.

As I glided past snow-covered glades and along deserted country roads, “Drunk On Aluminum” and “Archaeologists” fit in so naturally. “Belly of a whale! Belly of a whale!” Paul Murphy yells in the lyrically-peculiar song. It wouldn’t be until later that I realized the song is literally based on a story of a a body of a winged-boy being discovered in the stomach of a whale. Most of the lyrics center around the idea of identity, and the loss of it. Instead of going all-out introspective on us though, Wintersleep deliver their message like a story- with catchy, memorable one-liners and easy-to-devour tall tales. This definitely contributes to the catchiness of Welcome to the Night Sky. As I soared past a clean, white world, the “Do you still believe in God? / Said the preacher to the Astronaut,” line immediately caught me off guard. I listened; and as soon as I started, I couldn’t stop. It was right around then that I realized I was hearing something much more than your run-of-the-mill indie-rock record. This is surely something special, I remember thinking to myself even though the specific names slipped my mind. Attribute it to luck or simple chance, but as my legs were churning I knew I struck gold with this listen.

Welcome To The Night Sky takes so much inspiration from similar genres and artists, but manages to distance itself with just enough factors- a few large but many small. It’s really the mood and ambience that’s very striking. From the simple and distinctly dark album cover to the fireworks that end “Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks,” Wintersleep displays an uncanny ability to create a resounding, titular experience through their intelligent arrangements and concise orchestration. Whether it be a catchy, 2-minute, post-punk, romper (Oblivion) or their magnus opus, the closer, Wintersleep are obviously adept at turning the simple and concise into the heartfelt and tremendous. To figure out how this is achieved is a little more of a mystery, and the variety on Welcome to the Night Sky demands that this is examined on a song-by-song basis because of the vast variety found on the album. Take “Miasmal Smoke & The Yellow Bellied Freaks,” for instance. The first half could easily be found on an Explosions In the Sky album, and a little past halfway, it detonates. It reminds me distinctly of the explosion on Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” and it really gets the blood stirring. Wintersleep is energetic when necessary, but also manages to achieve a beautiful result from their more ambient passages to and fro. What I find even more impressive, though, is their ability to change from one mood to the other so seamlessly.

Welcome to the Night Sky is a strangely joyous record, it makes me want to celebrate something, anything. The amazingly concise, consistent, and catchy album has single-worthy songs galore (Weighty Ghost, Laser Beams, Drunk On Aluminum) but it’s really so much more fulfilling to digest in one sitting, or in my case “run.” I came back from that run refreshed and rejuvenated. Wintersleep has a knack for doing that- the magnificent album has been a staple in my collection for a relatively long period of time. While I’ll always hold a strong personal affinity for Welcome To the Night Sky, the emotive choruses, the intriguing ambient, and the spell-binding choruses, Wintersleep placed more than enough on the album for anyone to enjoy, and enjoy it you will.



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user ratings (143)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


It's a travesty that this only has 55 ratings.

Whadya think of the review?

Digging: Natural Snow Buildings - The Night Country

Kiran
Emeritus
February 8th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

only 55, pfffff

i remember on your list you had this described as somewhere between the national and the weakerthans, and if thats true, im sold

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul

klap
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2010



10311 Comments


i must get this

Digging: Literature - Chorus

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


Kirgasm: it's a little difficult to compare them, as they take influence from a few styles- but yeah, I'm not saying they definitely sound like those bands, but if you like them, you'll definitely like this! Do it!

rudy: yes yes yes do.

Kiran
Emeritus
February 8th 2010



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ya, this has just jumped to the top of my to-get list tbh.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 8th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't listened to this in so long, but it's soso good

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


I go on binges of this every once in a while... like last week for instance.

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


oh and a big PS

Wintersleep JUST finished mixing their 4th album... it's due for a May 18th release date.

EVedder27
February 8th 2010



6088 Comments


Awesome review, album rulesss

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


thank, definitely.... glad you checked it out.

silverleaves
February 8th 2010



438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

awesome album, awesome review
really excited that they have a new album coming out now too

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


I know, I just found out today!

great dig, btw too

EVedder27
February 8th 2010



6088 Comments


The closer on this really is amazing

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 8th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as is Drunk on Aluminum

edit: and Archaeologist

Wintersleep JUST finished mixing their 4th album... it's due for a May 18th release date.
yesss, did not know this

silverleaves
February 8th 2010



438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every song is really great, laser beams might be my favourite

YouAreMySilence
February 8th 2010



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thank god now I can talk off my hack of a review.
Fantastic album.

SeaAnemone
February 8th 2010



19979 Comments


it's either Miasmal Smoke..., Archaeologists, or Astronaut that's my favorite. Too hard to decide.

YouAreMySilence
February 8th 2010



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wait.. how do I delete my old review?

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 8th 2010



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=580638

tom79
February 8th 2010



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is soliddd. Weighty Ghost was the song of the summer for me.

Digging: Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again



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