The Wilderness of Manitoba | When You Left The Fire

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Crosby, Stills & Nash Fleet Foxes Neil Young

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Pop: Chamber Pop Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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When You Left The Fire

by The Wilderness of Manitoba

Acoustic based chamber folk music with stop-you-in-your-tracks four part harmonies. Like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young backed up by Pentangle or Fleet Foxes with cello and banjo.
Genre: Pop: Chamber Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Orono Park
5:00 $0.99
2. November
4:32 $0.99
3. Hermit
3:58 $0.99
4. Hardship Acres
2:25 $0.99
5. St. Petersburg
4:07 $0.99
6. Winterlude
1:26 $0.99
7. Summer Fires
3:14 $0.99
8. In the Family
2:36 $0.99
9. Sea Song
4:36 $0.99
10. White Water
4:26 $0.99
11. Golden Beets
2:25 $0.99
12. Native Tongue
4:56 $0.99
13. Reveries En Couleurs
13:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Something special happens when the four members of the Wilderness of Manitoba sing together, whether it’s in the basement of the house on Delaware Avenue in Toronto where three of them live or in the garage out back where they sometimes staged their own shows including their live debut. The band recorded most of their new album When You Left The Fire as well as their EP Hymns Of Love & Spirits in their home studio. They learned not to rely on electric instruments, although they now use them, but on the strength of their voices and melodies.

The process of recording the new album was different in that, when Stefan Banjevic and Melissa Dalton joined the band, most the of the songs for the EP had already been written by Will Whitham and Scott Bouwmeester except “Evening” which was written by Will’s mother in the sixties. For When You Left The Fire, Dalton says, “Everyone had input on the new songs from the very first listening, sometimes on the same day that the song had been written.” They gave each other songs to work on so they ended up with a couple of songs that had music by one person and lyrics by another. These collaborations, the addition of Sean Lancaric on drums and percussion and the use of new instruments like lap steel created a fuller and more varied sound. “The new assortment of instruments changed the colour of the songs and helped shape our growth as a band”, observed Bouwmeester.

There is a lot of fire imagery in the lyrics and When You Left The Fire reflects a sense of longing and loneliness that permeates most of the songs on the new album. Dalton states, “It recalls someone or something crucial being left behind, perhaps for a greater purpose which gives the impression of hope, but still it has a definite ring of sadness to it.” Adds Bouwmeester, “When You Left The Fire is a line from ‘Hermit’ that stands out, especially at the end when Melissa sings it. It’s a title that pulls the whole album together.”

The feedback for Hymns Of Love & Spirits was immediate and positive. The EP went to #5 on the CBC Radio 3 charts and created opportunities for the band to play more shows, including being invited to play the Camden Crawl in London in May and the End of the Road Festival in Dorset in September. However, the changes within the band had already taken place and most of the songs for the new album had been written before the EP was even released. Dalton points out, “As for whether the added attention impacted our writing, not really. I think you keep writing how you write otherwise you lose that essential part of who you are and how you express yourself through song. It has to be genuine.”


“When You Left the Fire is the band’s first full-length album and it’s a slow-burning, ear-bending gem. Sad and sweet and winsome, it’s reminiscent of Neil Young’s Harvest, but it is fresh and vibrant rather than nostalgic.” The Record

“It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a CD anything like The Wilderness of Manitoba’s first full length album, When You Left The Fire. I’ve spent the last week listening to it constantly. When You Left The Fire may just be the most beautiful sounding record of the year so far. Deep cello sounds resonate beneath shimmering layers of strings to create a sound reminiscent of Brian Wilson, Pentangle and The Incredible String Band in their heyday. The singing is never short of heavenly as Will Whitwham, Scott Bouwmeester, Stefan Banjevic and Melissa Dalton soar through rich choral arrangements that often sound eerily like Simon and Garfunkel or Crosby, Stills, and Nash. The Wilderness of Manitoba sound simply breathtaking.” No Depression

“November – the Wilderness of Manitoba. Little about this exceptional five-piece is what it appears to be. Despite their name, Ontario is their home province, and regardless of the wintry title – the song was actually written on the Trans-Siberian Railway – this graceful, harmony-laden ballad works just fine on a sweltering summer day. There’s also something of an out-of-time feel to their music. Think early Joni Mitchell and the first Crosby, Stills & Nash album, and you’ve got one of the prettiest, most wistful albums of the year. Highly recommended. (From When You Left the Fire). Toronto Star, Anti Hit List

“This disc arrived kinda late in the month...and as a result we didn't have time to completely absorb the material. But after only two spins we sure as Hell wanted to make sure to include this disc in our reviews this month. The folks in Wilderness of Manitoba have come up with a truly credible and, at times, incredible album. When You Left the Fire contains beautiful tracks that range from folk to pop...with subtle threads of bluegrass sprinkled here and there. The band's songs are melodic and smart and feature fresh and friendly lyrics. Thirteen tracks here. Initial standout cuts include "Orono Park," "Hardship Acres," "In The Family," and "White Water." Our guess is that this one will stand up to dozens upon dozens of repeated spins.”



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