The Winter Sounds draw inspiration from childhood memory, still image and mental visual in mixed genre celebration in their new video, “Earth After a Thunderstorm.”
In your mind may live an image, a vivid description of a place or feeling. You may not know when or exactly where, but the photo burned into your brain displays a lost piece of time, one without a chapter or storyline. For Patrick Keenan and The Winter Sounds, there is an image of a cottage in northern Illinois and a friend who lived across the street. With no detail but the frozen moment, Keenan set out to capture the feeling. The moment became “Earth After a Thunderstorm.”
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the Zbanski Kino-directed music video for “Earth After a Thunderstorm,” off The Winter Sounds’ recently released fourth album, MAXIMUM REALITY (January 12th, 2018 via Logica Sonica). Keenan’s personal project The Winter Sounds is an indie daydream, to say the least. His expansive collection, which has been building with a rotation of band members and influences since 2006, is experimental in a safe way. It draws inspiration from some of the best and most loved corners of music. From post-punk to dream-pop, it’s not hard to categorize, but doing so only limits the expanses of the instrumental expression in each track.
“I try not to have too strict of a genre so it’s not limited to anything,” said Keenan. “That’s my goal, to be genreless but then of course for people who listen to it, they’re like ‘oh yeah, this sounds exactly like blah blah blah.’ And they just kind of fill it in. I feel like for me whenever I start to list more genres it starts to make more sense.”
Though many explanations may ring true, “Earth After a Thunderstorm” needs none beyond its influence. The cabin in northern Illinois is preserved perfectly in the uplifting track, one that paints a picture of hope and light energy for listeners.
The image is preserved in its video presentation, though the storyline differs. Inspired by photos of atomic bomb test mannequins, Keenan wrote into the idea of a post-apocalyptic world. Similar to his own memory, the video – filmed in Kiviõli, Estonia – has no time or place. It is simply the day-to-day of a character living in comfort with a plastic companion. The video tests the ideas of theory of mind and the reaches of an inanimate being.
“You don’t really know the time period that this person is in or anything about it,” said Keenan. “And it’s the only character in the video. I kind of discover this mannequin and bring it back to this cottage that I live in alone and I essentially just try to treat it like a child where I’m teaching the mannequin how to drive and how to kayak and I’m showing her I chop wood…having a companion is kind of the idea.”
“Earth After a Thunderstorm” is just one intricate track from Maximum Reality, The Winter Sounds’ latest release. Though cohesive in concept, the album was developed over the course of years, allowing for personal changes and relocation to inspire multiple angles and periods of time.
Throughout, The Winter Sounds’ strengths are revealed. In tracks that sound inviting and easily relatable, listeners will find comfort and understanding. It’s as simple as the concept of a still memory: Maximum Reality hosts the potential for identified feelings and images waiting just out of reach in each audience member’s mind.
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photo © Jillian Cobb copyright © Logica Sonica
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