THE ANIMAL GROOM by The Winterlings
The Animal Groom is an album which opens a tiny, blue door in a forgotten wall of the listener’s mind. A wall battered by storms of asphalt, cell-phones, alarm-clocks and the plastic procession of stuff that swarms our lives. With a bold exhale into a harmonica, the wall is swept clear. Then, the door opens a crack and a gentle tide of sound spreads out along the floor. In the tide you hear the sudden shimmer of a guitar and realize an entire ocean is coming through. Choruses swim like penguins through miles of liquid salt. Violins soar above the water like flying fish. The haunting roll of a bowed bass sings like a great blue whale. Soon, a painted ship appears with a postman on its prow. He drops a bamboo ladder and your journey as a Winterling begins. You set sail with the bravest female soldier of The Civil War, who fought and lived as a man. You help a Belizean immigrant pin an orchid corsage on a girl he lost to the hurricane of time. You watch bats whirling above a newborn child. And inside the ship you’ll find eleven secret rooms with the titles of the songs from The Animal Groom carved in their doors. One by one, you will open them, and the worlds within will grow inside of you. Forests of story will lift their evergreen branches in your blood. Accordions will roar. Harmony will dance with melody like newlyweds on a glacier’s chest. And The Animal Groom will sing to you as rain sings to thirsty roots, as poets sing to paper in the deep winter of night, as muscle sings to bone, as children sing in their carnival dreams, as fire sings to snow.