Veteran folk duo Winter Wilson return with ‘Far off on the Horizon’. Kip Winter and Dave Wilson have been releasing music for almost two decades, but only semi-professionally, with their free-flowing hippy folk style screaming “hobby” from album to album, but a happy, likeable scream. But now, after a brush with redundancy, the duo’s lovingly crafted music has turned into a profession, and it, in Kip’s own words, “beats working for a living”.
Having garnered a lot of popularity over the years, even as worker bees with no obligation to keep penning sweet folk ditties, it was always going to be interesting to see what direction Winter Wilson would be heading. 2014’s ‘Cutting Free’ was heavily inspired by said redundancy, and the duo is reaching new heights, impressing everyone in the folk community to the point where they’re touring with Fairport Convention.
Much like their campervan, Winter Wilson are covering a lot of ground, lyrically. Always backed up by sweet, grainy guitar picking and swampy banjos, Kip and Dave are telling all sorts of tales here, from the difficulties that come with migrating on ‘I Cannot Remain’ to school romance on ‘When I First Met Amanda’. A number of songs seem to comprised of memories, whether fictional or autobiography, like the family-oriented stories of ‘Grateful for the Rain (Billy Boy)’ and ‘The Old Man Was a Sea Dog’.
Kip and Dave know how to write pretty, intimate ballads, and ‘Far off on the Horizon’ is full of them. The songs don’t necessarily stray too far away from conventional folk chord progressions to be classed as particularly adventurous, at least not musically, but ‘Ghost’ has some truly wonderful melodies, ‘Tried and Tested’ is as bluesy as they come, and of course, the vocal harmonies are constantly lovely.
Winter Wilson are learners, they’re happily adding to their craft with each album. Despite working on their music full-time, they still sound like they’re playing and writing with freedom, but maybe that’s just what happens when you’re living your dream.
‘Far off on the Horizon’ is out now via Winter Wilson