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Album Review

Wintersleep – The Great Detachment


An album filled with perfectly benign background music.

Label: Dine Alone Records
Released: 4th March 2016

Rating: ★★

Wintersleep are a band with five albums under their belt. The theory that on this, their sixth album, they’d expand and experiment is reasonable and hopeful, but it’s not what is delivered. Opening gambit, ‘Amerika’ plods along nicely enough with an inoffensive world music vibe, but it doesn’t excite or emote any more than a polite head bob; though Paul Murphy’s vocals have a pleasant buttery texture.

Tracks like ‘Shadowless’ move towards a more ambient, atmospheric and absorbing style by steering clear of the safe stomp that is so often used a crutch on this album. It’s a long, sprawling exploration of a mood and a tone that is captured beautifully. It’s repetitive without becoming stale and calm without becoming boring. But, unfortunately this moment of tranquillity and charm is a seeming anomaly on an album filled with perfectly benign background music.

It’s not that there’s anything immediately wrong with tracks like ‘Santa Fe’ or ‘Territory’, it’s just that they err on the side of caution. They’re perfectly well executed, but it’s not a thrill to listen to. If a slightly worldlier Kodaline is what you’re after, then revel in ‘The Great Detachment’ all you like because that’s more or less what it is. Jack Glasscock