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Winfield – Winfield EP (Winfield)

Winfield-Winfield EP
23 May 2020

Fans of this three-year-old Chapel Hill, NC quartet’s 2018 debut mini-album Giant will immediately notice the silkier, more incandescent stylistic shift on this follow-up four-song EP’s first two tracks. In contrast to the driving post-punk and atmospheric alt-rock that dominated each of Giant’s seven tracks – as evidenced on its standout single Daisy Ridley,” which namechecks the Star Wars sequel trilogy actress – Winfield’s opening “With You” is soft, gently lulling shoegaze. Like a cross between Blouse’s Charlie Hilton and The High Violets’ Kaitlyn ni Donovan, siren-voiced lead singer Victoria Roy, accentuated by the light harmonies of co-vocalist Brad Prenda, delicately trills over Prenda’s ghostly, caressing acoustic guitar drones, before David Bunch’s militaristic, “Running Up That Hill”-like drum cadences kick in halfway through and Prenda’s riffs grow more steely and expansive. The similarly dreamy second song, “Simple Things,” is distinguished by Kent Corley’s submerged bass, Bunch’s clopping, heartbeat-mimicking stickwork, and Roy’s reassuring, near-whispered coo, as she tries to convince herself not to become overwhelmed by life’s trivial matters. Then, behind Corley’s assertive basslines and Prenda’s bracing guitars, the group’s more familiar forceful and kinetic side returns on the final two numbers, the claustrophobic “Seconds” and tenacious “Contusion.” Baring hints of Editors and Maxïmo Park, both tunes also reminded me of short-lived late ‘80s London favorites We Are Going to Eat You (see “Just Another One” for proof; Roy even brings to mind their breathy and seductive singer, Julie Sorrell). There are a spate of other artists named Winfield on Bandcamp, hailing from such locales as Massachusetts, Florida, Oregon, California, Australia, and France. But for an idyllic mix of beauty and vigor, North Carolina’s is the one you want. (winfieldband.com, winfieldband.bandcamp.com)

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