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Below is the review for Welcome Home, which comes out Friday 7.8.16, as well as an exclusive premiere of their track “Introvert (Upside Down).” If you like what you read / hear, be sure to purchase their album from either their website or bandcamp.
Growth isn’t easy. Going from one phase of your life to another, especially within our socially established mile markers of life, can be quite difficult because there’s an awful lot that can happen between those time periods. There’s a lot changing. It’s kind of your first crisis of self, because you’re truly not super certain who you really are. You’re swimming against the current to figure that out. It also takes a bit for us to realize that you actually do have a voice in crafting your identity and deciding who and who-not you are. It’s pretty much all in your hands. And that’s a lot of responsibility.
Welcome Home, Winded City’s debut album following their self-titled EP that came out last year (2015), is all about the in-between; the transitions that happen between the years that separate you from being an adolescent and transitioning into an adult. It’s the inner mental battles that happen when you’re trying to find your identify, figure out your place amongst your peers, or even sneaking out of your parents windows when you’re young.
The collection of 11 tracks was written by the band separately and then recorded and fine-tuned together in the studio. “It was awesome to work on Welcome Home in the way we did, driving back and forth from our new homes to the places we grew up, spending extended time in our childhood towns and houses” says Marc DeMory, who plays lead guitar for the band. When you dig deep in and listen to the lyrics throughout the album, it almost becomes this mixed-up timeline of emotions, feeling, failures, and quasi-important moments that helped shape the band-member’s lives.
The instrumentation and overall identity of the songs also relate to the theme of growth / transition as the band continues to hone in on their sound. Songs bounce from the Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin-esque track “Introvert (Upside Down)” which features some garage-rock like vocals courtesy frontman Joey Rocco to the sing-between-your-teeth vocals on the track “Tired Of The Way” which is a bit reminiscent of Wheatus. The rest of the album contains more drawn out and spaced out vocals with expertly placed (and fairly impressive) screaming (the perfectly titled “On Being And Adult”). The flowing instrumentation throughout the album also creates a consistent blend of indie-rock and guitar-heavy baby jam band atmosphere–almost like Silversun Pickups and My Morning Jacket had a groovy and mildly trippy love child.
Overall Welcome Home is a consistent debut album from the Chicago-based mood rockers that reminds us of the complex, almost never-ending journey that is attempting to find your identity and grow into yourself. Rocco put it best when describing the album:
“We in some ways created a zeitgeist of our transition from childhood into adulthood and how the feelings of “home” were fleeting faster than we could handle, but I suppose we handled it with this music. Some of it seems upbeat on the surface, but it’s pseudo-melancholy throughout. The timbre, I feel, is a reflection of how these things are hard for us to talk about as individuals, but as a group these feelings come through, hidden in some ways in the lyrics and on our sleeves in others with the music.”
It reminds us that we’re not alone in not knowing who the hell we are, that other people are also trying to figure this out. And that is pretty comforting. Plus the music sounds pretty great as well.
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