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The Wilderness of Manitoba

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The Wilderness of Manitoba

While the Impound has never been to Manitoba – a Canadian prairie province according to the ever-wise Wikipedia – we get a sense of the place from When You Left The Fire, the humming, pastoral edged full-length debut from The Wilderness of Manitoba. There’s something remote and weathered and gently wild about the sounds inside this lovely grower of an album, which taps into quietude and quality thinking with a diviner’s wand, and then lets the well spring they’ve unearthed bubble up steady and slow.

Stefan Banjevic, Will Whitwham, Melissa Dalton, Scott Bouwmeester and Sean Lancaric generate music that’s warming but without totally dispelling the literal and figurative elements that knock at our windows and doors. There are surface similarities to Fleet Foxes and Midlake but their vocal arrangements suggest a more woodsy relative to the swinging pipe weaving of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Captured at remote house, often late in the evening, When You Left The Fire (arriving May 10 in U.S. on TinyOGRE) slots into our own shadow hours, where the clutter of the day falls away and world and mind come to a still place, managing to be uplifting and ruminative without ever resorting to bombast, its arguments and observations speaking volumes in a hush.

We asked the band to ponder our lil’ philosophical exercise and here’s what they brought to the table.

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you see the word “God”?
Scott: Light

Stefan: I don’t know…

Will: The sun drawn by a child with a smiley face on.

Which has the better cosmology, Star Wars or Star Trek? Why?
Stefan: Star Wars for sure (before Lucas ruined them…). Hoth, Dagobah, that weird chess game between C3PO and Chewie, flying through the Death Star – Awesome. Deep Space 9 ruined Star Trek for me. Watching it was like doing your taxes – you expect a big return but somehow you end up owing twenty-three bucks. Plus, the ridiculous stereotypes didn’t help.

Scott: So here it is: I’m a huge TNG fan, like big time. To say which has the better cosmology is hard to say, but what I will say is that the enterprise was always charged to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. There is something to learn in that for everyone. P.S.: Deep Space 9 was amazing,

Will: Clearly Star Wars for its significance in the youth of our generation and also for its 80s nostalgia and cereal box fame. I never saw any of the remakes because I knew they would never do it justice (except for Natalie Portman). Star Trek was unfortunately ruined quickly by the Shakespearean acting of Patrick Stewart for me. I really love William Shatner though.

Name one album that has spiritual resonance for you.
Sean: Beethousand by Guided by Voices.

Scott: OK Computer by Radiohead

Stefan: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel

Will: Grace by Jeff Buckley

Woody Allen once said, “I don’t know the question but sex is definitely the answer.” So, what’s the question?
Scott: Would you like free-range organic sweet potato fries (in extra virgin coconut oil) with that?
Will: So what’s the meaning of life?
You can have a dinner party with any three people throughout human history. Who do you invite, what’s on the menu and what intoxicant do you share for dessert?
Band answer: Scott brings Leonardo Da Vinci (and a translator) and truth serum; Sean would bring Martin Luther King, a plate of buffalo boccaccini, a baguette, olive oil and an $8 bottle of Portuguese table wine from the LCBO at Bloor and Ossignton; Stefan would bring the bass player from Weezer (he was the lead guy right?) and lactose pills (for the buffalo boccaccini).

Will: Winston Churchill, Frederic Chopin and Jimi Hendrix. The menu is predominantly local vegetarian/meat/fish. We would drink quality organic micro brew throughout (perhaps Duchy’s Ale served by Prince Charles), though I imagine after dinner Winston would insist on port, Chopin on some aged fine wine from the early 1800s and Jimi would likely drop acid under the table.

The Wilderness of Manitoba – Orono Park Live Performance

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