If there was but one good thing to say regarding the current revival of American and British folk tinged musings in underground music a la: fill-in-the-blanks, then let it be the loss of rock star histrionics and the welcomed return of a more natural group aesthetic. Because beyond that is the mark of faddish hippy followers, the great unwashed masses, and the requisite pretense that always tends to gnaw at the heels of actual invention.
And with nods to the realm of revival, is of sorts another revival within itself. Wax & Wane?s ?Winter? is a reissue of their self-released debut ep, and it is a return that is most welcomed. A true group effort, the entire cast played roles in writing these nine short and pretty songs. Think homey, natural, folky, bedroom pop. The recording is filled out with simple guitar lines, chiming bells, a very lyrical violin, piano, and slight, simple percussion. The vocal tracks work well, both in harmony and as single voices, and though clear, are never over produced. This doesn?t really sound like a low-fi recording, but it is always bare enough, and confident enough to remain personal and fairly intimate.
I always seem to fall back on weather and seasons whenever I listen to new music, and ?Winter? to me sounds less blustery and cold, and more warm like a late Midwestern spring, or late summer.
Oddly enough, this album makes me think of another double ?W? named band, Austin?s Weird Weeds, and their ?This is not what You Want? MP3-only release from 2005. Which, by the way, is not a bad place to go next if you decide ?winter? is for you. And for the record, it is for you, so go check it out. Fashions be damned, this is simply a fine record above all, and one that deserves to be heard all over again. 8/10 -- John Cramer (16 October, 2006)