The first concert in the series on Saturday, February 1 features veterans of the Northampton indie scene, Winterpills, in a night of folk and chamber pop at the museum. Opening the show is Washington, D.C.-based Luray.
Winterpills | http://music.winterpills.com/
Formed in the winter of 2004 as a self-described “song circle for heartache”, Winterpills features the vocals of songwriter / guitarist Philip Price and keyboardist Flora Reed. It’d be hard to find two voices more meant to sing together.
It’d be harder, still, to match those voices with guitar lines more delicate and memorable than those drawn by Dennis Crommett, or a rhythm section more quietly sturdy than bassist Brian Akey and drummer Dave Hower. So, it’s no surprise the lineup has spent the past decade producing four albums and an EP’s worth of some of the most touching, thoughtful pop you’ll find.
A New York Times review of the band’s 2010 release Tuxedo of Ashes noted:
â€œ[…] Winterpills gradually builds elegant arrangements steeped in 1960s folk-pop and rootsy rock, hinting at Simon and Garfunkel and Fairport Convention. While the gathered instruments offer some solace, the songs stay haunted.â€
The band’s songs have been featured on television shows including ABC’s Greyâ€™s Anatomy, Showtime’s Weeds, and NBC’s Parenthood, and have been heard on radio stations ranging from Northampton’s WRSI to an in-flight Northwest Airlines station on a flight from Detroit to New Delhi. Hearing a song like “Want the Want” during an early morning drive through Hadley’s farmlands makes it seem like the music was tugged straight from the soil, and hearing a song like “Laughing” somewhere over the Pakistan border makes you homesick before you’ve even reached your destination.
“Banjo-inspired indie rock” is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to describing Luray’s music. If you can imagine walking through a meadow under moonlight and, as your eyes adjust to the darkness, slowly realizing the tall grass is full of fireflies — that’s a little like how I felt watching Luray perform last winter. Like the scene in the meadow, the songs, featuring the warm vocals of Shannon Carey, start out achingly beautiful and only grow more so the closer you listen.