By Rachel Woodward, September 28 2017 —
Toronto folk-rock band The Wilderness of Manitoba have had a busy eight years. Between five albums, three EPs and tours around the world, the group boasts the kind of experience and discography in their short career that many bands dream of. Their fifth studio album, Across The Dark, adds to the quality of their collection.
The 11-track record is easy to listen to and fully realized. The songs range from deeply emotional to fun and aloof. Across The Dark is a multigenre experience — some tracks even have a country twang at times. The varied vocals throughout the album allow for each track to stand out among the album as a whole.
Across The Dark starts strong. The retro sound of “Head for the Hills” sets the tone and brings contemporary lyrics with nostalgic melodies into the mix.
“Easier” stands out as a soulful ballad and is my personal favourite. Raven Shield’s soft and sweet vocals are lovely to the ears and lift the album to new heights. It’s a welcome change about halfway through the album, shifting the mood and setting a new tone.
Across the Dark has no shortage of feel-good tracks. “Cindy Runs” and “On My Mind” give off positive vibes all the way through. These tracks are a joy to listen to and can easily fill any space with comfortable melodies and fleshed-out lyrics.
The album ends on a more sombre note, with “Old Fear” acting as a goodbye of sorts to listeners. It’s the perfect ending to a lovely album fit for colder days.
The Wilderness of Manitoba are playing at Nite Owl at 9 p.m. on Sept. 30 to perform songs old and new. For anyone looking for some chill and heartfelt ambiance, this show is for you. Tickets are available online.