The Great Detachment is a really great album. Following 2012’s Hello Hum, the Halifax (and now Montreal)-based band has put together one of the most ‘complete’ albums of their career. Maybe they’ll never spawn another hit single like “Weighty Ghost” or an absolutely perfect 5:19 like on “Danse Macabre”, but I would argue that the collective output on The Great Detachment stacks up nicely alongside their finest work (which for me, would probably be on Untitled.)
Back to The Great Detachment, I’d hate to describe the album as a ‘return to form’, because I don’t think Hello Hum was a bad Wintersleep album by any means. I just think there’s a real sense of intimacy on The Great Detachment that brings to mind the energy and spirit of the band’s first few releases. This is very likely the product of the band’s decision to record the album ‘live off the floor’, which brings the songs to life in new ways. The guitars are dense, atmospheric and sometimes even soaring on tracks like “Metropolis”, while on others there’s a definite pop-rock sensibility that shines through jangly bursts of guitar (“Spirit”).
Lyrically, this record sees the band at their most introspective; and I would venture a guess that the album’s title refers to more than just a lyric in “Spirit” – the album generally examines various kinds of detachment, whether it’s disillusionment or death and everything in between. Given that the band has made some career changes recently, like switching to Dine Alone Records and parting with their manager, it might be referring to these changes as well.
Now about 15 years into their career, Wintersleep is probably one of this country’s greatest, and somehow most underrated, indie rock bands. The band’s currently on tour for The Great Detachment; and while their Montreal and Toronto dates have already passed, there’s still an opportunity to catch them in you’re from Western Canada. Check out the full dates here.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Dine Alone Records
Must-Listen Tracks: “More Than”, “Amerika”, “Who Are You”
Buy The Great Detachment on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-great-detachment/id1069969801