Some albums burble comfortably on background speakers. Others slip in through one ear and slosh around in our heads like mud.
Twenty Something Winters, the second album by Winnipeg-based Sit Down Tracy, is of the latter type—despite what that band’s cutesy pastel pink branding might suggest. A relatively tight affair—most of the 11 songs sit just over two minutes—Twenty Something Winters is packed with enough texture to create a sensation not unlike claustrophobia. The phrase, “Twenty Something Winters,” suggests an ethereal suspension of time—twenty years homogenized by an endless season of extremes. The image fits this album to a T.
“All of the Days Sing All of the Time” opens quickly and sets the tone for the album. The sparkling keys on “Toothpick Race,” and the winds on “A Train,” prove that density can still be intricate. We get sips of air in the first minutes of “Caught Up in the Moment” and “Sleepwalk” but these moments are rare amidst the chest-crushing orchestration that muscles the album along. When “Always When You’re Not Wanted” finally lets us down with its twinkling exhale, we’re almost (ironically) relieved. Would the album profit from more pauses in the set? Perhaps. But the breathlessness created by Twenty Something Winters is a mighty feat— it’s a rare and visceral feeling to be suffocated by pure sound.
Twenty Something Winters, when listen to from front to back, is not unlike an oversized mouthful of something thick and sweet. At times it’s delicious; at others, hard to force down. But once the struggle is over, there’s the taste left behind—memorable, saccharine, and difficult to forget. Next time you’ll come more prepared, but you’ll certainly be back for more.
Go choke on some noise of your own over at Sit Down Tracy’s Bandcamp.
Rating: Hunting Call (excellent) +*Swoop*
Top Tracks: “Toothpick Race,” ” A Train,” “Tonight”