Living in Chicago, a reminder of winter was the last thing I really wanted to have – luckily for me, Mounds of Earth’s EP Welcome Winter was not the chilling, abusive experience that the past few months have given us. Rather, it was a really sweet reminder of the better side of winter, and a nice view into the minds of the band members. I simply love how “Welcome Winter” eases in, with crackling and a choppy voice sample. The following acoustic guitar simulates the sound of swirling snow, if such a sound existed. This is a very light song, much like the ushering in of winter, capturing all of the beauty it entails.
“Irish Dance” is fun and sounds rather traditional as described by the title. It seems to symbolize that first bit of euphoria that comes with winter; when the snow is fresh and the prospect of winter is still exciting. The EP takes a somber turn with “Leaves.” It is as though the depression of darkness and a little cabin fever has begun to set in, as tree branches become barren and the world falls steadily silent. The beach sounds near the end were actually a bit saddening, given the overall tone of the album; it seemed like a quiet reminder of that which is so far away (or, maybe they took a mid-winter vacation. In that case, no need for sadness).
The higher notes in “The Lighthouse Shelter” signal optimism of some sort, as though the worst is over but there is still a little more to go. It’s very soothing. “Another Reason” adds a new dimension to the idea presented in “Welcome Winter,” incorporating the swirling sound but adding to it the sensation of running wildly through a field of flowers on a sunny day. Perhaps spring has arrived? Or perhaps the snow activities are in full swing, with sledding and snowball fights and all of the fun parts of winter to enjoy.
This EP was written as an interpretation, which made it sound more liberated than some other albums. I was able to apply my own emotions to it, which I’m sure made for a different listening experience than someone else would have; therein lies the charm. I had a good time on the journey that Mounds of Earth took me on, and appreciate the opportunity to peek inside a musical representation of their lives. I bet you will like it as well.
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