Please meet Wintermitts, a genre bending six-piece from the rain-soaked left hand corner of Canada, in a city called Vancouver. They sing in French and English. They rock out on trumpets and accordions. They waltz when they need to and they’re as absorbing (and comforting!) as you’d hope a winter mitten would be. Since 2005, they’ve been soothing souls in a way that Chicken Soup could only dream of. Watching them live is like peering into the playroom of six best friends, swapping instruments whenever they please and letting love drift like dandelion seeds.
Make no mistake, though - the ‘Mitts mean business. They’ve taken DIY to horticultural extremes, inserting tomato seeds into every sleeve of their 2008 album Heirloom. Since that time, they have lost some members and gained some new ones. They’ve done two successful cross-Canada tours and you best believe they have another in the works. They’ve shared stages with The Dø, Julie Doiron, You Say Party!, Hannah Georgas and Jon and Roy. In late 2011, they performed with the UBC Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre in Vancouver.
Together they have created Oceans, the latest addition to their catalogue and easily their most refined album to date. Produced by Kees Dekker (Plants and Animals, Rah Rah) and engineered by Shawn Penner (Mother Mother, Hannah Georgas), Oceans is a lesson in dazzling orchestral pop. Part chanson d’amour française, part delirious waltz and part naturalist manifesto, it’s as rollicking as a mid-sea canoe ride. It’s as warm as Grandma’s home-knit sweater. It’s an expression of wonderment in the face of love, of nature, of art itself. It’s about pushing past the dark moments to find that, yeah, life’s actually worth grooving on.
Oceans is a world all its own - a world that only six friends, living in the rain-soaked left hand corner of Canada with a pile of string and brass instruments could have made - and they’d like to welcome you into it.
Come say hello some time.
Wintermitts are: Aaron Pettigrew, Jonny Healy, Lise Monique Oakley, Shane McMillan, Swann Barrat, Tina Tew