Something special happens when the five members of the Wilderness of Manitoba play together, whether it’s in the basement of the house on Delaware Avenue in Toronto, Canada where three of them had lived when the band recorded their EP Hymns Of Love & Spirits or in the garage out back where they sometimes stage their own shows. In the spirit of the shows and musicians that were coming through Delaware House, Will Whitwham, Scott Bouwmeester and Stefan Banjevic found themselves with acoustic based songs that were minimalist and full of vocal layers that would become the foundation of the new band. They would gather together on random winter nights to drink tea, record and play music. The collection of songs that makes up Hymns Of Love & Spirits was written while some of the members were experiencing real changes in their lives including the passing of Will’s mother. The songs began to take on a deeper meaning and a much greater importance to them. The recordings were the band’s best attempt to capture those feelings and emotions on disc. As time went on, vocalist & violinist Amanda Balsys and percussionist Sean Lancaric were added to the lineup to deepen their already expanding sound.
Most of the songs were recorded late at night, when the house was quiet. The band was forced to deal with both the limitations and the benefits of recording in a non-traditional space that added a distinct character and feel to the songs. The late 60s model was very influential on the recording and the sense of community within the band. They learned not to rely on electric instruments, but rather the strength of their voices and melodies.
Their debut EP 'Hymns Of Love And Spirits' was released in 2009 and their second full length album 'When You Left The Fire' in 2010. After two years of touring Europe, Canada & the United States, they are set to release their third album 'Island Of Echoes' in the late summer/early fall of 2012.
Will Whitwham guitar, piano, organ, synth, uke, vox
Amanda Balsys violin, vox, percussion
Stefan Banjevic guitar, banjo, cello, vox
Sean Lancaric percussion
longing and loving