Kendl Winter - The Mechanics of Hovering Flight

Kendl Winter - The Mechanics of Hovering Flight
Release Date:
January 24, 2012
Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Folk, Old-Timey, Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass, Bluegrass
The Mechanics of Hovering Flight

With her fifth solo collection (and second for indie legends K Records), Pacific-Northwesterner Kendl Winter brings her bluegrass-touched indie folk to a new plateau in terms of songwriting and production. Expanding on 2010's beautiful Apple Core, Winter's songs on The Mechanics of Hovering Flight swing a wide emotional pendulum, her slightly raspy voice soaring between uplifting banjo-picking romps and wine-soaked old-timey country melancholia. On the later, Winter's voice dips into a Southern dip-thong, as on the waltz-time of "Faded", where she croons bright-eyed-but-sorrowful lines about driving through Utah and a detached helplessness in watching love fade away. Elsewhere there are hints of social and environmental consciousness.

These undercurrents prop up breezy album opener "Summertime", juxtaposing an airy arrangement of stand-up bass and sleepy drums with understated lyrics about sustainability and picking up the pieces. Backed up by a plethora of Northwest musicians, Winter's songs crackle with the added flair of Austin Cooper's jittery percussion, synth and string players. There's also the K Records tradition the inclusion of a large group chorus adding a communal air to the triumphant refrain of "All The Birds". While Winter's first few home-recorded albums never suffered from the typical jagged edges DIY indie recordings often can, there was always an insular quality to their sound, even in her collaborations with other musicians. The Mechanics of Hovering Flight marks her first stray from self-recording, and Calvin Johnson's production opens up the album with a roominess and attention to small details that was absent in earlier works. This open-air sound is a great fit for the songs. With one foot in a deeply traditional neo-bluegrass sound not unlike Gillian's Welch's and the other in a darkly dreamy indie identity unafraid to explore and experiment, Mechanics shows Winter hitting her stride and finding a way to marry the two halves of her sound gracefully and organically.

Summertime / Kendl WinterKendl Winter3:56
Shades of Green / Kendl WinterKendl Winter3:57
Faded / Kendl WinterKendl Winter3:22
Do You Leave the Light On / Kendl WinterKendl Winter3:21
Story My / Kendl WinterKendl Winter4:48
The Time It Takes / Kendl WinterKendl Winter5:16
Fill My Glass / Kendl WinterKendl Winter4:38
Mama Will Buy / Kendl WinterKendl Winter4:08
Buttercup / Kendl WinterKendl Winter2:13
Long Way / Kendl WinterKendl Winter4:05
Quit Your Job Joe / Kendl WinterKendl Winter2:17
All the Birds / Kendl WinterKendl Winter3:21
Crows In the Snow / Kendl WinterKendl Winter6:05