Wintergatan – Wintergatan Wintergatan – Wintergatan

Wintergatan - Wintergatan (2013)

Wintergatan – Wintergatan (2013)

I was goddamn excited for Wintergatan. In fact, I have been waiting for this band for quite sometime despite not knowing they really existed. Wintergatan is what I need at this very moment. It is strange to be so ravenous for a band and their debut album. Wintergatan is the reformation of a dissolved Swedish instrumental project known as Detektivbyran. Detetivbyran existed for a short period of time and produced a handful of amazing off-kilter instrumental records before leaving me alone crying in the rain. I stumbled across Wintergaten by accident one late night while longingly searching for old Deteitvbyran songs. Suddenly, my life has purpose and everything will once again be brought to you in vivid colors

Wintergatan consists of one member from Detetivbyran, Martin Molin, who acts as sort of the ring leader or instrument tamer. Along with Molin, the rest of the band carries on Detivbyran’s tradition of low-tech and homemade sounds. Imagine electronic music made with an analog budget. Sure, there are drums and a bass but also glockenspiels, bells, melodicas, slide projectors, and music boxes to fill in the sound. The result starts somewhere around electronic-aided music but ends somewhere on the opposite side of that there rainbow. I have been refraining this long to call it magical but – hell – I already have on elf shoes so what the fuck ever.

It is difficult to objectively look at Wintergatan’s self-titled debut because my excitement makes it feel like a hyperactive recommendation. Aside from what I just said, the music is fairly simple instrumental music with standard song lengths. Instrumental music is interesting in ways that narratives can be constructed without vocals. A good instrumental band knows how to say things without repeating themselves or letting one part drone on for too long. Wintergatan makes music which is not only intriguing but filled with wonder, excitement, and an overabundance of joy. Again, hyperactive recommendation with elf shoes

One of Wintergatan’s strengths is levity. Each song on the self-titled debut comes with a playful sense of fun. “Starmachine2000,” “Slottskogen Disc Golf Club” and “Rocket” all contrast the increasingly dark material on Detivbyran’s last release Wermland. Wintergatan renews an adventurous spirit with the addition of low tech instruments and splashes of chiptune. Wintergatan stands apart from its previous incarnation and creates an album with as much splendor as a steampunk fantasy film set in 1920’s Paris. I thought I could talk about this album without using fantastic imagery but I soon realized it is near impossible.

I feel strange, actually, reviewing Wintergatan as with Detetivbyran they stand as a darkhorse in amazing albums of the year. It is music which has no real place among trends and innovations in popular music but rather a gem that could be found in a curio shop. I can not even begin to start comparing them to some of the more popualr and critically acclaimed acts of 2013 like Baths, Kayne West, and Deafheaven. I do not feel Wintergatan belongs to this year nor era nor even plane of existence. They have winked into being to bring me happiness and a sense of purpose. Please do not ever leave me again.

Wintergatan - Wintergatan , reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2013-06-27T03:54:21-07:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

6 Responses about “Wintergatan – Wintergatan”

  • Martin says:

    Hello Kaptain, my dad just told me about this. And he insisted i should read it. I seldom do that but this time i did and it made me very glad so i wanted to say hello from Sweden and us. The album took three intense years and now new music is starting to wanting to be made and with knowing people are listening the eagerness just increases… Long meaning there! That was all! Best Best! Martin & Wintergatan

  • Martin says:

    long sentence i meant! Confusing things up… best… M

  • Dear Martin.

    You are awesome. Back in 2008, I wrote a piece on Wermland on my starter blog and you responded and made my fucking year.

    Now you do it again five years later and made my year again. Never stop making music as there will always be people ecstatic about the things you guys make.

  • Quinn says:

    I completely agree with you.. I listened to detekivbyrn on loop for close to a month straight, finding out they wouldn’t make a new album was pretty sad. Then Wintergatan existed, and it was awesome. It feels like a constructive progression in the right direction from the Detektivbyrn albums.

    Martin, please come to north america on tour!!

  • nate says:

    I second all of the above sentiments. Thanks to wintergatan for bringing this brilliant music to the world. it is appreciated more than you can know.

  • Lucas says:

    🙂 🙂
    Indeed, Wermland is amazing. I love to sit somewhere alone, my headphones on and list to it. Especially Life/Universe does something to me. It is like the accordeon and the xylophone are life, full of activity, hope and impetus. Beneath that is the bassline, the darker lower tones. The lower frequencies carry the higher ones, but at the same time there is contrast and a struggle, something threatening. The soundstage is actually amazing on a good stereo too: the claps and the xylophone move around. It is subtle and amazing.
    And now, Wintergatan, immediately, obviously packed with melodies to make me melt, to nod my head and to move my body. I am so happy with Wintergatan 🙂