Every once in a while a band takes you completely by surprise; you hear of them through some coincidence or another, and you can't believe you've never listened to them before. Such was the case with Windigo, and their recently released album Retrospectrum.
This five-piece Calgary band is indie pop at its finest. They range from soft, emotional ballads such as “Same As Before” to the upbeat, summer-rock vibe of “Acadia” while still maintaining a distinct, not to mention enjoyable, sound. The former uses minimalistic instrumentation and a slightly haunting duet to convey a melancholy tone, while the latter utilizes a rapid snare beat, synth, and electric guitar to give the song a light-hearted momentum.
Windigo is still fairly new and unknown, and there is a roughness to their sound and their recordings that makes this evident. However, this does not take away from the music, and may even add to the strong character their music expresses. Three different vocalists are used alternately (and occasionally for harmony) which gives the album a pleasant variety, and allows the voice to match the song in each case.
There is something about these tracks that gets into your head. “Chasing Rainbows” stuck with me for days after listening. There was not a single track on this album that I did not enjoy, even after listening four or five times. My absolute favourite track, though, is the opener, “Sundials”, which has an incredibly catchy guitar riff, excellent harmonies, and creative, fun lyrics.
My advice is to head over to Windigo's bandcamp page, where you can stream all of Retrospectrum for free, and give them a try. I have little doubt that you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was. This will be a band to follow, and I have very high hopes for their future work.
– Aaron Swanbergson