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the Wilderness of Manitoba

Hymns of Love and Spirits

(Self-released; US: 15 Sep 2009; UK: Import)

Hymns of Love and Spirits, the debut EP from the Wilderness of Manitoba, is a record that involves some work on the listener’s end. A rich, lush listen, the EP highlights the band’s deft vocal harmonies and patient acoustics. Overall, Hymns of Love and Spirits is a chamber-folk record that is as haunting as it is comforting “Bluebirds” rises through the mist with the clarity of reason, amidst precious fingerpicking and the sound of birds who breathe light into a new day. Just try not getting introspective on that one. It doesn’t stop there, either. “Evening” leans on the band’s country roots. Pale and desperate, the track evokes the image of a flickering light glowing long into the night. While the Wilderness of Manitoba might be mistaken as a somber act, Hymns of Love and Spirits reveals how beautiful its haunting presence is.

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Joshua Kloke is a music writer and hopeless Toronto Maple Leafs fan who splits his time between Melbourne, Australia and Canada. He's contributed to The Vancouver Sun, Exclaim!, Beatroute, Beat Magazine, Time Out and veri.live.


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