By Curtis Windover
SASKATOON – Brandon Saucier is the mad scientist behind Lethbridge’s new lo-fi post-punk band, WINT.
Anchored by a forceful, sturdy rhythm section, the band utilizes an ultra-harsh layer of melodic guitar tones that’ll have you dishing with your music-nerd friends for days after attending their show.
The trio currently has three EP’s available on cassette and Bandcamp. Their self-titled debut was released in April 2015; two years later we received Revelation and New Content in rapid succession.
“The whole crux of the operation is just to be recording all the time. So, I try and record songs every day. At least one,” explains Saucier.
“Most of it’s stuff I’d never want to use but doing it so often, gems just come out. Then, when there’s a string of gems, I’ll just put them together and release them.”
Saucier writes and records alone and has been experimenting with oddball music equipment since his teen years. His bandmates, bassist Hope Madison and drummer Rebecca McHugh, say they usually don’t learn the songs until they’ve already been recorded and are up on Bandcamp.
The trio are a collection of friends with similar likes in sound.
“My roommate/partner [Madison] wanted to be in the band – I was like, ‘yep!’ Rebecca is just the drummer in Lethbridge that I like and am friends with. I played with her in another band [Participation] that was great. So, it was just super easy.”
After performing vocals and noise in different versions of the group during 2016, Madison suggested, “Maybe I should just learn to play bass because we don’t have a bass player.” Two weeks later, WINT played their first show with the current incarnation.
January release Revelation gained attention from local show-goers just as the new year rolled in. The recordings are a firm balance between aggressively lo-fi and GET-OUT-OF-MY-HEAD-catchy (refer to track six, suitably dubbed “soft spoken”). Although Saucier’s vocals sit low and his lyrics can be tricky to decipher, a handful of poetic images jump out in each song. The EP critiques modern life vaguely enough to invite listeners to form their own interpretations, and therefore to ponder their own place in the modern world.
“I tend to just have these inspiration bursts that last for weeks where I’m writing every day. Then I have it all written down in a big binder full of lyrics. If I’m recording a song I just pull something out and use that,” says Saucier of his lyric writing process.
Creative bursts were pertinent to the March release, New Content, but Saucier admits they won’t be performing a couple of the new tracks live anytime soon.
“Some songs from the new one were written only month or two ago,” says Saucier. “And now we’re trying to learn them but I forgot a bunch of the stuff.”
His focus shifts quickly forward, which gives one more reason to get your hands on the cassette before the tracks become lost artifacts. The simplistic (yet bouncy and industrial) drum fill in the opening song “Movement” will launch you into the WINT experience without restraint. The aesthetic is cohesive, bare bones, and shouldn’t leave you with many questions, save one: is there anything the world should know about WINT?
“All I want them to know is that it’s all about the music,” says Saucier.
Catch WINT live at Vangelis Tavern in Saskatoon on April 15th. Visit wint.bandcamp.com for their latest releases and future tour dates.Saskatoon, Vangelis Tavern, Wint