Do not look for me in the summer heat
Do not look for me in the autumn leaves.
Loosely captured images and words, a certain rhythm. Listening to the lyrics of Wishingbone there’s the sense that the person behind these words is a writer. So I found after speaking to the lead singer of Winter People, Dylan Baskind.
‘I’ve been pursuing a literary passion for some years. I’ve been writing novels for about four or five years though I’ve never managed to get something that I felt had reached the level that I was happy with.’
Letting go of your writing is as difficult as projecting what you imagined in the first place. Winter People’s forthcoming debut is evidence that Baskind has achieved both within another medium altogether – sound.
‘For me the song begins on paper, as couplets and sections and from the language the imagery and mood arises. A poem can remain halfway between the concrete and something that’s immediately communicable, especially with the music behind it – you can still have the emotion unspecified and unconscious.’
That leads me to the question, what is Wishingbone about? Though it’s never as simple as that, particularly when most writing rests on a series of images and feelings.
‘It’s the moment in a travelling journey where you’re in a desolate, empty plain and you come across a wishingbone picked clean by the wind, buried in the sand. It’s the point in the journey where you question the worth of setting out in the first place.’
Wishingbone is a song as wistful as it’s title. It slides within the space between sadness and happiness. Though there is in a way an uplifting element, something Baskind puts down to his love of classical music and the dramatic sounds of Beethoven and Chopin.
‘I’m very conservative in my taste, highly rule orientated and geometric.’
Though this translates through Winter People’s music in an entirely different way – through the careful layering of harmonies, acoustic melodies and then together with the glockenspiel, the building tension of all these sounds.
Most of all, the balance between raw and polished. Something they were able to achieve with the help of Peter Katis who also mixed the likes of Jonsi’s latest Go Do.
‘He is my idol [Peter Katis] The whole time I have been involved in audio he would always be my reference, he is the god of hi-fi/low-fi, of polished authenticity – there’s something he does that is high quality but also has the essence of a bedroom studio.’
Baskind comes back to the idea of writing – the same expression, a different channel.
‘It’s like writing that doesn’t feel forced but is well constructed, flowing but carefully put together and you don’t notice when you’re reading. It’s the same thing with music, definitely a balance.’
Winter People have just finished up their tour with Busby Marou, supporting the two Rocky boys as they played shows across Australia,
‘It was really fun, lots of hijinks – but nothing that I could tell you on the record!’
If you’re in town today head in Kings Cross Hotel for their free lunchtime gig at FBI Social or otherwise, turn on the radio! Looking forward to hearing more from these guys, keep your eye out for their debut album to be released early next year.