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Los Angeles-based band Winter play a brand of dreamlike guitar pop with songs that typically consist of billowing layers of atmospheric guitars and keyboards, subtle production tricks, and hazy, multi-layered vocals sung in English and Portuguese. While their early records often had rough edges and shifted from full-band albums and home-recorded EPs, the band's leader Samira Winter turned the group into a solo project and fully embraced the gauzy, lighter-than-air aspects of their sound on 2020's Endless Space (Between You & I) and drifted into stark shoegaze territoy on 2022's What Kind of Blue Are You? The group started in 2012 as a collaboration between Brazilian-raised singer/guitarist Samira Winter and Nolan Eley of Infinity Girl, both of whom were living in Boston at the time. Before that, Samira had been writing about music, but decided she would rather take an active role than report about other bands. The two produced an EP called Daydreaming, assembled a live lineup, and began gigging around the Boston area. The following year, Samira moved to Los Angeles and Eley relocated to New York, but the two continued virtually collaborating on new music, and she assembled a new lineup of Winter that included fellow Boston transplants Matt Hogan on guitar, David Yorr on bass, and Garren Orr on drums. After releasing several singles online and playing gigs with the likes of Craft Spells, Luna, and Bleached, Winter self-released their debut full-length, Supreme Blue Dream (recorded remotely by Samira and Eley), in March 2015. Later in the year, the band issued a single called "All the Things You Do," which was co-produced by Hogan and had more of a guitar-heavy sound than their previous, more synth-driven material. More singles followed, and then the band's second LP, the breezy and light Ethereality, was released in 2018 on the Everything Blue label, an imprint started by Samira and her sister Victoria. The next Winter release, 2018's Infinite Summer EP, was produced by power pop maven Wyatt Blair and showed some heavy '90s influences, including a little bit of grunge. The long-running indie label Bar/None Records took notice of the impressive string of releases the group had issued and signed them up. By this time, Samira Winter was the lone member of Winter, and the first EP released for her new label was a collection of lo-fi home-recorded songs that betrayed a darker, more melancholy feel than previous records. Hazy was issued in December 2019 and featured a duet with Justus Proffit. For the next Winter album, Endless Space (Between You & I), Samira teamed up with Ian Gibbs, a multi-instrumentalist who played with Morgan Delt and on most of Vinyl Williams' records. The songs were rescued from old, rediscovered demos and given a glowing, space pop treatment by the pair, then passed off to Pat Jones (who collaborated with both Toro Y Moi and Washed Out) for mixing. Dinho Almeida of the Brazilian psych band Boogarins added vocals to one song, and the end result was released in July of 2020. The album's release coincided with the initial COVID-19 lockdowns meaning Winter was unable to beign work on another album until 2021, when she went into an LA studio with Joo-Joo Ashworth of the band Froth The pair worked on a stripped down, dark shoegaze soud that matched the introspcetion and uncertaintly of the time. Joining the pair to provide additional vocals were Ashworth's sister SASAMI and Hatchie. The finished album -- titled What Kind of Blue Are You? -- was issued by Bar/None in October of 2022.
© Paul Simpson & Tim Sendra /TiVo


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