Up in Canada there's been something of a musical renaissance afoot, and one of my favorites of this movement is a band that considers the mandolin and the cello to be its primary weapons of war. They're the Winks, led by Tyr Jami and Todd Macdonald, and their record Birthday Party would easily qualify as one of my favorites of the year. The trick, you see, is that even though they might remind you of Arcade Fire by listening to their standout track "Guitar Swing," what this record's really about is gently pulsating landscapes, surrealist lyrics, and left-field arrangements. They're unpredictable, restlessly creative, and swarming in every direction like the bizarre dream parades depicted in a Studio Ghibli film. And they're on tour! I think I might be heading down to a certain little art gallery in Chicago to see them perform, if they don't add a Madison date soon.
The Winks - Guitar Swing
The Winks - Snakes (Revisited)
Check out their tour dates, and a cool live video, at their MySpace page.