Something special happens when the four members of the Wilderness of Manitoba sing together, whether it’s in the basement of the house on Delaware Avenue in Toronto, Canada where three of them live and where the band recorded their EP Hymns Of Love & Spirits or in the garage out back where they sometimes stage their own shows. In the spirit of the shows and musicians that were coming through Delaware House, Will Whitwham, Scott Bouwmeester, Stefan Banjevic and Melissa Dalton found themselves with acoustic based songs that were minimalist and full of vocal layers that would become the foundation of the new band. They would gather together on random winter nights to drink tea, record and play music. The collection of songs that makes up Hymns Of Love & Spirits was written while some of the members were experiencing real changes in their lives including the passing of Will’s mother and Scott’s grandfather. The songs began to take on a deeper meaning and a much greater importance to them. The recordings were the band’s best attempt to capture those feelings and emotions on disc.
Most of the songs were recorded late at night, when the house was quiet. The band was forced to deal with both the limitations and the benefits of recording in a non-traditional space that added a distinct character and feel to the songs. The late 60s model was very influential on the recording and the sense of community within the band. They learned not to rely on electric instruments, but rather the strength of their voices and melodies. The response to Hymns of Love & Spirits has been immediate and positive. It has inspired the band to write a bunch of new songs which they have already started to record at Delaware House where it all began. The intention is to follow up the EP with a full length album in the new year. The band affirms, “We all love the Wilderness of Manitoba and love what we have accomplished with the EP and with ourselves in the past year”.
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