by Chris Hatch
The latest release from Brazil-native, Winter, is one that lives up to its name – hazy in both its conception and its execution, it’s an EP that sways tentatively from side to side without ever really finding a firm foothold.
Using the soft, collegiate, alt-rock of Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy as a point to veer off from, the songs on Hazy are dotted with snippets of harsh, serrated guitar lines that slice through Winter’s otherwise middle-of-the-road songwriting. There are enough overdubs and sonic meanderings to keep things relatively interesting, but at its core Hazy is an EP that treads little new ground.
Lead single, Nothing More, is a dreamy, shoegaze-influenced love song that finds Winter confessing that she ‘wants nothing more than your love’. Her plain, straightforward lyrics carry the naïve, hopefulness of a first crush – the sweetly innocent delivery only adding to those yearning, lovelorn pleas.
Hazy seems to ooze elements of other bands and genres – the cutesy, lo-fi stylings of The Moldy Peaches rub shoulders with drunken, out-of-tune Pavement/Sonic Youth guitar tones, while the woozy, tremolo drenched dream pop of Bad News finds Winter sounding like a mixed breed of Pure Bathing Culture and Beach House.
For the most part, Hazy’s mishmash of influences works well (most evidently on the brilliantly off-kilter On The Outside), but there are times when Winter’s naivety (both lyrically and musically) moves from the charming to the amateur-ish, and the lyrics of penultimate track, Happy, are particularly cringe-inducing.
Most of the flaws on Hazy can, however, be forgiven, as there is certainly something within its fifteen or so minutes that claws its way into you. It’s a record that feels somehow like a first draft – there are some ideas that feel strong and worthwhile, and there are others that will more than likely fall by the wayside as her career develops. Winter is not the finished article yet, but she is an artist well worth keeping an eye on.
Secret Meeting score: 75
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