From: MA, United States
Genre: Folk, Indie, Pop
At the core of Central Chambers, their newest album and third overall, the Northampton, Mass. quintet maintains its signature chamber-indie ambience while exploring new grounds sonically and lyrically. In it, you’ll hear production running the gamut from boombox lo-fi to crisp studio sonorousness; dense rockers balanced by quiet hymns; and an overall diversity in instruments and textures. All of this backs the wandering words of songwriter Philip Price, and here we can see him condensing his meditative lyrical approach into mantras contemplating the frailty of humanity.
A performer with a background in 90′s powerpop (The Maggies) as well as solo-acoustic songwriting, Price sought something of a middle ground. Woodshedding sessions in the winter of 2004 led him and friends Flora Reed (piano, vocals), Dennis Crommett (guitar) and Dave Hower (drums) to become Winterpills, crafting a neat balance of heartrending lyrics, lush pop and dreamy guy-girl harmonies. Their self-titled debut, released in November of 2005, drew numerous comparisons to Elliott Smith, Ida and 60s torchbearers like Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young. It was hailed as “a disc of faultless, sparkling indie pop” by NPR’s David Dye, while No Depression called it “alternately sad, cynical and deeply moving.” Soon the band recruited bassist Brian Akey and returned to writing and recording. Their stunning follow-up, The Light Divides, was released in February of 2007 to much acclaim, described by The Boston Globe as “dusky, quietly ripping folk-pop that sounded at once intimate and universal.” It was dubbed “painfully pretty” and “sublime” by the Philadelphia Daily News, and The Washington Post said “Price’s lyrics are densely packed but hugely evocative, tiny bombs of feeling and meaning.”