Long Winters do happy, without all the sappy

Source: 
The Ticker
Author: 
Adrienne Rayski
Publication date: 
April 15, 2007

I'm one of those people that's not much for happy music. And even if you like it, it's hard not to admit that there's something about the morose, the dark and the grungy that generally makes for a better musical sound than the happy-go-lucky. The Long Winters' Putting the Days to Bed, the third LP from the Seattle-born band, is trying its hardest to dispel this idea through big band instruments, crafty lyrics and memorable beats.

What I really love about this album is that the Long Winters have not only matured in sound (perhaps having something to do with the constant line change-up they've faced within the past few years), but the talent that they have to take deep subjects and fit the lyrics to an upbeat tune, a la Belle and Sebastian. Stand out tracks include "Fire Island, AK," based around a mysterious and deeply personal story that I'd love to know more about: "Here's how I found out: / A man called my house / He asked me what I knew / They found my letter / And I don't have to wonder … / Did it reach you" and "Rich Wife," which best executes the rockers within the Long Winters.
The sound borders on a bluesy/country/indie rock mix, not always something you can dance to but always rolling along to that upbeat melody. And though I can't say that Putting the Days to Bed has changed my mind completely, I can appreciate the feel-good feeling of this album.