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One of our favorite things to do at WERS is to cover local talent, especially talent that is from Emerson! Winter, a self-described dreamy shoegazing band, is fronted by Emerson’s very own, Samira Winter. The band initially began as a collaboration between Samira and Nolan Eley, Winter’s lead guitar player and also a member of another local band, Infinity Girl. They meet at a school concert at Emerson’s Little Building and Nolan was impressed by Samira’s previous band; the two bonded over a mutual love of one of Boston’s best bands, Galaxy 500. Samira sent Nolan a handful of tunes that he decided to record and produce with Samira eventually lending her vocals. These songs make up Winter’s debut EP Daydreaming which is available on Bandcamp right now.
While the band is normally comprised of Samira, Nolan Eley, Ana Karina Da Costa (drums), and Kyle Oppenheimer (bass), only Samira and Nolan stopped by WERS studios today and they brought with them three songs that lived up to their dreamy descriptions. While Shoegaze kind of goes hand-in-hand with loud volumes (premier band My Bloody Valentine are considered to be one of the loudest live bands ever), Winter turned the dials down and treated us to a stripped down session.
They started off with their EP’s title track, “Daydreaming”. The bright and chiming guitar and sweet melody was gleefully juxtaposed with the song’s wistful tones; reminiscent of some of the greats like The Smiths who frequently used this method. Winter consider bands like Real Estate, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and My Bloody Valentine and, while they definitely do a good job of referencing these bands, they still crafting a unique sound and feel for their music. In particular, Nolan’s light accompaniment was reminiscent of many of the guitar runs that Real Estate like to pepper throughout their songs.
Their second song was “The View” and it followed a similar pattern of lightly phased guitars and soft harmonies. This time, however, Nolan took over the vocals, playing both lead guitar and singing at the same time. An impressive feat by any measure, the constant changing between Samira and Nolan did a good job of diversifying their sound.
The final song was titled “Nothing” and the two joked about leaving a blank space on their set list to signify the song. This song was a bit slower, but they managed to showcase their My Bloody Valentine influences through Nolan’s guitar playing. While Samira played the slow, at times edgy, chord progression, Nolan evoked My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shield and his swooning and gliding guitar style (created by pushing down on his guitar’s tremolo while strumming each chord). This technique created the right atmosphere for Samira to drop her dreamy and romantic singing over the song, featuring the chorus: “Nothing is everything/Are we just sleep walking? /Is everything nothing?” As the song slowly built up to its coda, Nolan’s subtle lead guitar (modified through a reverse reverb pedal) brought the song to new heights.
Winter are on the verge of blowing up; they’ve been getting tons of local press, so it was fantastic that they decided to stop by and treat the WERS studio to some of their fantastic songs. You can check out their EP, “Daydreaming” on Bandcamp and their live sets at WECB’s Radio Showcase at the Out of the Blue Gallery in Cambridge (4/3), Zuzu in Cambridge (4/15), and the Deep Heaven Now Festival in Sommerville (4/20).