The Winterpills "All My Lovely Goners"

The Winterpills offer up a delicious confection of glossy folk/pop ballads. Approaching the 9th anniversary of their founding, the Massachusetts based quintet, The Winterpills, appear to have perfected their delicious confection of glossy folk/pop ballads. Flourishes of ringing guitars and rising harmonies float over chamber-pop melodies. At the edges are hems of country, rock, and jazz accents.

As you travel through the band’s fourth full length release, All My Lovely Goners, musical reference points mark the way. The Winterpills glean inspiration from American and British folk rock giants. “Amazing Sky” and “Rogue Highway” soar on happy harmonies, the kind that vaulted Fleetwood Mac, circa 1975, to mega-fame. “Pretty Girls” brings to mind the poetic sensitivity of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. “We Turned Away” reflects the hushed tones of Simon & Garfunkel’s sweet harmonies. Elliot Smith is evoked in “October” while “Feather Blue” elicits memories of Harry Nilsson’s loveliest songs.

Occasionally the band deviates from the folk template, throwing in an electric guitar and dark undertones as on “January Rain.” Flora Reed takes a rare lead on the subdued “The Sun Is Alone,” and the equally mysterious “Fleur-de-luce.” “Dying Star” draws more from the realm of pop music. “Sunspots” builds to its conclusion accompanied by a crescendo of trumpets. Philip Price’s songs are long on melodic structure but restrained on lyrics. His songs focus less on storytelling and more on emotional response. But his music is multilayered, ready to be peeled back to reveal new lines of counter-melodies.

All My Lovely Goners is an album that offers up hidden gems the more you stay with it. It is a perfect companion for windswept fall afternoons of scittering leaves and shifting shadows.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Host)