Facing Winter
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Facing Winter

West Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

West Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



""Gifts from Gravity" review by CAU publicist Hannah Frank"

The first thing I notice about the sound is its lushness and professionalism. Facing Winter has a true “pop” sound that immediately catches your ear and doesn't let go. Like a distant cry you heard but are not sure you heard just right, it takes your ear up a notch.

Travelin - (Track One)- This comes in like Rusted Root, like a party you heard downstairs and instead of wanting them to turn it down, you secretly want to go join them. Vocals with secretive harmonies sound like forest dwellers creeping up on mountains- but that's about as “nature/tree-hugging” as it gets, what seems like it could drop off into a hippie chasm quickly stakes its ground as a highly modern with almost robotically precise vocals that are full not of processed effects, but a clarity I haven't heard since the Beach Boys. The space-age guitar solo is punctuated by mad pop-vocals in organ-like riffs that provide a spicy, hypnotic bridge and then the choruses flip back in.

The vocals, which I haven't even paid attention to at this point as I've been focused on music, are talking about sunshine shining through, and “I begin to burn a hole in you”. The lyrics ask to trade for scars, which I take to lead to transcendence and redemption. The song is about a personal journey and figuring out the world doesn't always provide as expected. With “love that makes you drunk”, that can be expected. I would call it world-worn but its' still innocent enough to demand understanding, and seeks it through as many creative ways possible.

The ghostly back-up vocals are tied right into to the percussion which is tight and introduces a new kick/snare sound that keeps pace throughout like a gated snare brush tapping out rhythms as taught as a kite string in a tornado.

This song is over before it begins- it comes in like a windstorm and leaves as suddenly. Considering it's actually 3:30, that's quite an accomplishment. It holds your attention.
Oh No - (Track Two) Rhythm is the word of the day- but again a jungle beat gives way to a swaying 60's rock phenomenon. Again, the “easiness” of the genre is clipped and made infinitely more edgy. The sound created is like comparing loopy handwriting to the tightness of a razor blade cutting out letters out of a magazine. Every corner is dressed, if this music was a house every nail would be perfectly centered, every corner 90 degrees. Every chord is clipped to precision in an almost militant exercise of sound. This is contrasted by the independent catharsis that is not tied into any system at all- but operates on its own schedule. The chaos of losing control in this song always remains in the context of the structure itself-

Yeah What – (Track 3) Well placed as being one of the most catchy tracks on the album, it's full of intense drum beats with precision and energy with great dynamics within. The vocals and background vocals are full formed unique layers that float together and the whole song moves in waves that verge on punk-rock with a strong finish.

Volcano - (Track 4) – This is a little more ballad-like. The guitar is a signature tone. It's thin, but crunchy. The tempo moves along, and the vocals remain precise. This time the guitar backs up the music almost in a more blues-rock style (almost). The vocals remain interesting in the way they layer and have chorus effects. This is slower in tempo than the others, yet it breaks in the middle in a very 90's Everclear kind of way in the chorus. The signature FW vocals make it sound like FW. I am curious if live it would sound more true to its nature if the guitar tone was deeper and coming out of a Marshall.
If the other songs were ripping my face off, this one is the torch burner. I feel like taking a road trip. This has even got elements of Sheryl Crow in it to me- or people that informed her writers. The lyrics about a filmstrip and projector are stellar. This is a solid song.

I just realized that this reminds me a lot of Weezer- the Blue album. That is a very good thing- not because I'm biased, but because Weezer sold a lot, a lot of albums. It may be interesting to listen to the Weezer Blue album (unless you dislike the band for some reason, totally ok) and seeing what is similar about this track and that album. What do you like about Weezer? I would ask yourselves this question.

From a marketing angle, if you claim to be the next Weezer, that will get people's attention. Not that you should, but that when something you do is similar to something that's had success, it's worth at least being aware of similarities and differences. Go team.

Pink Sky – (Track 5) The guitar work here is reminiscent of California Guitar Trio, Leo Kotke and slaves the beat to a guitar riff that adds digital-like sounds and claps that sound as natural as the dirt underneath your feet. This instrumental run punctuated by a simple yell ends with the sound of a raven or crow which echoes into the distance. There is an interesting ground starting to be covered between songs and sonic performance art.

Performance art events usually only have 10 people in attendance for a reason. They are unbelievable cool, but simply impenetrable to the masses. This is their charm.

When adding sounds to music- this is interesting- how can you use it more? How can you incorporate it so that the raven sound is just an important as the guitar music? Should the guitar music continue after the raven? If the raven is part of the song, make it part of the song.

Also, combining elements: does it strengthen both? It's a neat concept to add these sounds. Would the guitar piece be stronger if it was all guitar? Would the raven sound be stronger if it told a story?

For now, I'm using my imagination, which is cool too.

Tundra – Song 6 – Peaceful feeling, space age, I am in a sensory deprivation tank and there are echoes. This is awesome. Do you do this song live or is a studio creation? Either way is cool just curious. Sounds like a loop pedal is involved. I thought the track ended and a new song started- but it was just the end of this track. Very interesting! It is fun to change things up and make weird sounds, and change styles midstream, I suddenly found myself having fun with it- which is what you guys likely do when you make the tracks. What one may want to consider, is how do you pull the audience into this world where they are having as much fun as you are? How do you introduce the idea to them that you will be playing with audio, and making new sounds, and that unexpected things will happen? Most people, when they put in a CD, expect basically to have some songs delivered, with verses, choruses, etc. a format. If you are going to start adding different elements, how do you bring the listener in with you on that journey?

This is key as people may get confused if they don't know they're about to go on that journey. Or frustrated, like hey I thought this was a pop record. One question is: How can the sonic texture pieces (like this song and the Hidden Track) be stronger? How can they be just as riveting as the “song” songs?

Or, do they serve some other function?

Broken Branch – (Track 7) I admit before I listened to this track I thought for a moment, perhaps, this will explain the tree? Perhaps the tree represents the broken branch. This is a slow, swaying song. I like the way the voice breaks at times here with emotion. It's an interesting contrast from the almost space-age precision of the vocals at times to show they are human. It might be something to use constructively. The lyrics definitely speak to human experience. Again, with the slower songs with more space, perhaps now is the time to add in some of the sonic stuff happening in some of the other tracks. This song has a lot of nice starts and stops. The lyrics speak of “sitting by the creek” and dipping feet in which is likable. With slow songs it's about passing on the emotion, which this song does. There is a variety on the album as far as tempo

Hey Tiger - (Track 8) I'll be honest, no music critic here, just human the lyrics to this song are absolutely amazing. I love the tiger in the cage. I wonder if closer vocals (less processed, and more in front of the mix) would make this song even more personal, since it is so personal. This is very solid. If playing this song, people should be allowed to experience this song in its fullest. I want this song to be even more dramatic in its production. It could hold the weight of it.

The more eccentric it is sometimes, the better, and this song would give you space to be a little eccentric, and people could go with it, because it's such a feeling song.

I am so sorry to throw out another band to look at, but this song makes me think of Belle & Sebastian- just because they had a huge indie hit with an album called “Tigers Milk” and also Radiohead. There is a slowness here that is similar to Radiohead, in a sense kind of see how this song has a good groove, but is heady, like RH. I'm not sure what to do with that information, but basically recognize when you can experiment and be creative a bit, like Beck. This is a song that can handle that. That is a great compliment.

It's a great song. I want to pull it out more with more “warmth” in the production so people can “get it” by making it more accessible. The production on FW is precise but at time sounds almost cold and distant- it's an aesthetic to be sure. Maybe a little warmth could really stand out. I'm talking, specifically, engineering folks, of compressed vocals, close to the mic. This could be one more brush to choose from or color in the palette- although what FW achieves is by limiting the palette in some ways. Discuss.

AtLoM – (Track 9) This is a penetrating song that floats in like a Foo Fighters song with robust sinews of sonic tones droning throughout with rhythmic guitars keeping an understated pace. It has muscular choruses and fits together tightly while maintaining a heaviness that is hypnotic and full of street cred. It stands up to songs in this genre, faintly reverberating with NIN, and Tool, yet also like the Beatles. It is a space-age pop artifact that is heavy as copper and blessed with substance. Is LoM the meditative “ohm”?

Just a side note: The title remains something I'm not aware of the meaning for. Or maybe I'm not hip to it! This is perhaps an inside joke? Or something random? Either way, just be aware of that for every inside joke that brings someone in, it also leaves someone out. Making the music accessible, even in a song title, is something to consider? Perhaps?

Home – (Track 10) – This is one of the strongest songs on the album. While I am trying to hold back every muscle in my body to stop from comparing this to the Beatles, I have to. The songwriting is excellent it kicks butt and the way the vocals are delivered are similar to John Lennon on some of his more personal and expressive songs such as Jealous Guy and Don't Let Me Down. The melodies are mature and dip, ebb and flow. The song itself is carried by the beat of the drums which are a syncopated riff that's catchy and well-played in and of itself. This tempo is well-chosen and well-delivered. It's sadness carries through on clouds, and the sneer in the vocals as it tells it is well-played. The french horn solo seals its fate as one of the more mature and exceptional tracks. It is “mature” because it has a balance to it. There are different elements working together. This track is like a carpet laid down, and everything happens on top of it. This is opposed to some of the faster tracks, which are also excellent, where the song is happening like an event. - Chicago Acoustic Underground

"Album Review "Seas Drain Into Space" by Matthew Potts"

"Seas Drain Into Space", the first full-length album from Facing Winter, invites its listeners deep into the unpredictable world of a 21st-century indie band. Each of the 12 songs lends a different light to illuminate the album's story and the character of the musicians behind it.

The album kicks off with its best candidate for a single. "Moonshine" is a tune which quickly sounds familiar. With warm guitars, a pleasing meter, upbeat lyrics, and a sunny melody, the listener may prepare for an 'easy Sunday drive' kind of album.

But hold on, "Soul Note" has an entirely different emotional complexion. With moodier guitars and more introspective lyrics, the album takes a turn to explore the difficulties of finding inspiration in the face of desolation. The message encourages the artist to persevere. A first-time listener, who may struggle during parts of track two, should heed the same advice.

More upbeat, but keeping with the sense of struggle, "Slowpoke" is utterly catchy. Anyone who is habitually tardy finds in the song a perfect chorus to repeat whilst chasing the slippery bouncing ball of daily life. It features Justin's nifty dual-instrumentation, using his guitar as a percussion instrument while strumming. In less-capable hands this technique might come off gimmicky. However, the song stands (or rather runs) on its own two legs, exerting remarkable appeal relative to its technical difficulty. Liam and Jeff take full advantage of the song's rhythmic backbone and jam nicely off Justin's lead.

From the race to catch up with the world, the album moves into the struggle for survival as a modern musician. "Pocket of Change" is a carefully-worded narrative about a female songwriter who can't get a break. It offers a not-too-subtle criticism of the popular music industry and pop consumers themselves. Poignant lyrics and articulate hand percussion compliment a sweet and simple melody. The flesh-and-blood appeal of this track is hard to deny.

Track five, "Killshot", begins with a moaning/mourning guitar in stark contrast to the warm guitars of the previous song. After 17 seconds, a brave composition emerges. The rhythm, utterly strange, delivers a sense of urgency unattainable in any standard meter. The artist appears to cease his destiny, and the album's transition into ass-kicking mode begins. Liam's bass asserts itself and a fuller rock sound awakens anyone who had started sinking into the couch.

"New Explosion" begins with Justin's gritty strumming, drawing the dirtiest possible grunts out of his moody Gibson. Garage-rock anger resonates, then shatters the dingy room -- a blissful sense of freefall replacing it. The rockin'est of what Facing Winter does is harnessed in this 'title track'. It goes by a different name than the title of the album, but it makes mention of 'seas draining into space', and it seems to bespeak the essence of the album: the artist's life is stood upon its head, darkness swarms, but then gets annihilated, blown away by some new explosion, and is replaced by utter radiance. 'Things are gonna fall apart, and that's when you find out who you are.' Jeff's relentless drumming and Liam's steady bass free up Justin to deliver a knockout punch with his euphoric progressions and sugar-sweet "oo" "oo"s. If you don't tap your toes during this one, you should seriously have your tappers checked.

"Colorful" is a song that has been in Facing Winter's catalogue for some time now, waiting to have its potential fully realized. Take special note of the drums. By the end of the song, you can actually hear the hi-hat catch fire. Jeff underwent double Tommy John surgery twice over the past 15 months in order to finish the tracks for "Colorful". Probably the album's hardest-rocking song, its vivid textures do justice to awesome car accidents and near-death drowning experiences.

"Death Confronts" takes the rock factor down a full two notches. A song with both a bright and dark side, the jaunty acoustic melody of the verse -- at first -- seems ill-suited to the song's name. However, in the chorus, this confrontation with death is theorized. There is a rich drama within it: a dialogue between the life-affirming feelings of love in the verse, and the cold embrace of death in the chorus. This is not the easiest listen on the album, but those who invest their attention will be rewarded. It is a fascinating musical exploration of the theme its title suggests.

"Campfire" possesses a much more homogenous character than the previous tune. It is warm and true. Where "Moonshine" stands alone as a single, this song may be a more complete piece of music, at least as it is recorded on this album. Where "New Explosion" could be the future, "Campfire" is both past and present. The warmth of Justin's guitar reigns, with perfect compliment from each of the other instruments, bass, drums, and vocals. The maturity of the lyrics is a testament to Justin's arrival as a complete songwriter. This song will retain relevance as long as any song on this album. In exposing new listeners to Facing Winter music, this track should be at or near the top of the list.

The rollercoaster quality of the album continues into its final quarter. From the warmth of a campfire, listeners get cast out into the cold rain of injustice. "All For Profit" mixes serenading guitars with whining ones, all over the top of a contagious rhythm. It's giddy-up rock 'n' roll with a steady venting of anger, imparting to its listeners what it feels like going up (the) creek without a paddle, let alone a boat.

"Bad Idea", the ballad, showcases Justin's impressive vocal abilities. Sad and happy, with excellent storytelling, a beautiful melody, solid instrumentation, and some engineering polish on the back end, the 'waiting game' of the song utterly flies by. This "Bad Idea" turned out to be a truly excellent idea for a song, and a highlight of this album.

As the album reaches its concluding track, the listener likely doesn't know what to expect. A lonely guitar introduces itself and lets the supporting cast enter in behind it. The song is born of a single thought and builds layer-by-layer as detailed in the lyrics. Beginning as a dedication where the musician struggles to express his love in a way other than music, he succumbs and uses music to get the job done. Then it goes on to embody a radically different sentiment. For the listener who persists through all 12 tracks, and all of track 12, there appears to be a moral of some kind. A flurry of vocal tracks overlay the basic melody in the final minutes of the song, and while it's difficult to dissect the meaning and formulate a coherent message, the feelings are explicit:

Love is born, grows, dies, and out of its death, there is hope it will be born again. The thread of the original verse melody never disappears, but around it the whole universe seems to change twice. The song and album end suddenly to a fan's dismay perhaps, but perhaps it is the perfect ending to an album fraught with surprise.

With a mixture of warmth, disenchantment, recklessness, frustration, and epiphanic joy, few listeners will be able to find some chorus that doesn't take hold. For its honesty, originality, and variety, this album sets itself apart from industry standards. For the quality of songwriting, the warmth of the guitars, its steady rhythm section, and the fact that it is Facing Winter's first full-length effort, "Seas Drain Into Space" is an impressive achievement.

- Green Rock Society

"Review of "Sanctuary E.P.""

A refreshing blend of musicianship and emotion
author: Derek Marshall
I enjoyed all the tracks on the "Sanctuary E.P." Each song is thoughtfully written, and interesting to listen to. The vocals are melodic, and sound similar to Elliott Smith or Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. The quality of the music is top notch. It's composed of acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and occasional hand percussion. For a three-piece, the music is surprisingly original. You won't find worn-out 3 chord progressions or stale drum beats on this E.P. The bass is smooth and deliberate, the guitar is full and intricate, and the drums are crisp and infectious. Lyrical themes on the album include: overcoming challenges, dealing with change, politics, and relationships. I think "Tightrope" and "Inertia" are my two favorites from this collection. "Tightrope" features punchy bass-lines, progressive drums and uplifting vocals. There's a lot of impressive guitar work in this song, including an energetic solo reminiscent Neil Young or Tom Petty. "Inertia" offers floaty guitars riding on a memorable drum and bass groove. The vocalist displays his range and creativity on this song, combining earthy low notes with ghostly highs for spacious, organic harmonies. With time and experience I think Facing Winter will be capable of writing 5 star albums. For now, I give "The Sanctuary E.P." 4 stars and look forward to even better material in the future. - CD Baby / Reviewer Derek Marshall

"Sixty Years War interview with Justin Birchard"

A few notes about Facing Winter, certainly not comprehensive, but sincere. This band is a remarkable unit (Current line-up consists of Justin Birchard, Jeff Goluszka, and Drew DeWaard). They have a sound that is many things, and the two songs that will be provided as samples at the end of this post won't be entirely representative as most of their music is quite dynamic, but I often feel as though a loaded freight train is roaring past when this band kicks it into high gear during a set. I can't sing their praises enough on a personal level and with respect to their craft. I hope to do, as do many others also, as much as within my means to see that these guys get the recognition that they deserve because their music deserves to be heard. Their fans are rabid and it is infectious to be around this band's whole community. We'll certainly be writing more about these great men in the future. For now, we'll focus on the interview.

Interview with Justin Birchard of Facing Winter:

1) you have a new cd on the horizon. tell me about that. what was the process like?

The new album will be called 'Gifts from Gravity'. We do all the recording and mixing ourselves at our studio in West Chicago. We have a pretty simple setup and do all of the tracking onto a PC.
When I was younger I used to wonder why it sometimes took bands a full year (or more) to release new albums. I definitely don't wonder about that anymore.
I think the process could be equated to running a marathon. It's painful, monotonous, and time consuming. But at the same time it's peaceful, exhilarating, and empowering.

2) this being your second album, what similarities and differences do you find between the two? what can fans expect from this new material?

Strangely enough, I think GfG ('Gifts from Gravity' - forthcoming Facing Winter album) will be both heavier, and more mellow than SDIS (previous Facing Winter EP 'Seas Drain Into Space'). A lot of the key elements that we are known for will still be there... but the surroundings and atmosphere will have changed a bit. The drums and bass are more explosive, and there's a lot more vocal experimentation. There will also be new instruments... like accordion, xylophone, mandolin, and piano.

3) does the album have a theme? are there certain subjects that come into play more than others? how would you describe the mood/feel of the whole record?

A lot of these songs made me feel really uncomfortable. Especially at first. There is still penty of optimism... but as a whole, it might be the darkest collection of songs I've written. I was forced to see a different side of myself this year. Once I saw it, it changed me. And it changed my outlook on life. It helped me understand things I had no concept of before. I think the album definitely reflects that.

4) what things shape your songwriting? do you gather ideas from the world surrounding, or the world inside yourself? maybe a mix of the two?

I try to mix the two... but overall I get very distracted with what is going on in my own head.

5) If you could name any artist, past or current, that is influencing you at the moment, who would it be? What about their music or their work that is speaking to you?

This is a really tough one because there are so many... but for the last month I feel I have been very influenced by the Shins, Cake, Ben Folds, and Sunny Day Real Estate.

6) are there any other musicians out there right now, that are unsigned or unnoticed by the masses, that you feel deserve a second or better glance because of their great songs and/or consistently great live shows/performances?

Another tough one because there are just so many... Nathan Kalish and the Wildfire, Them Damn Kids, Algernon, Dan and Leland, and Rachel Reis.

7) Any advice that has been helpful or insightful for you, that you might offer to aspiring musicians?

This is my personal advice: Sing and play everday... even if it's just for 15 minutes. Perform something somewhere for someone everyweek. Stay away from the opposite sex. Stay away from drugs. And when you can't do it anymore, keep doing it anyway.

8) you recently made a pretty drastic change in personnel. would you care to comment on this, and how the 'new guy' is filling out your sound?

Liam did a really great job for us for 5 years. It's really hard to see him go... both personally and musically. But I fully support his decision to move on and pursue other things with his life.
Liam will always be around. And he'll continue to be a direct influence on the music.
In fact, Liam helped us teach Drew how to play the songs... which is neat because it has made the transition much easier.
Just like Liam, Drew is a very special type of musician. But I'm not going to spoil it... I'll let Drew's bass playing speak for itself.

9) What does the near and distant future hold for Facing Winter? What are some goals you would like to accomplish by the end of both 2010, and 2050?

If I can give back what others have given to me through music... and if I can continue to understand myself and the world around me better by writing, recording, and performing... then it will all be worth it. No matter what year it is!

10) What are you reading these days?

The last two books I read were "Born on a Blue Day" and the "Celestine Prophecies". They were both pretty interesting. - Derelict Songs

"Suburban Nightlife "Home" song write-up"

With a name like Facing Winter, dark and moody songs are to be expected. What you might not expect from Facing Winter's dreamy, melodic music is a jaunty, almost bouncy song about betrayal. And yet, that's the sound of "Home," this month's featured track from Facing Winter. The band recently recorded "Home" and you can listen and download the track by clicking the Badwolf webtile at www.NiteLife.org.
"Home" begins with a short guitar intro before lead vocalist Justin Birchard sings, "Trust is made of glass / And when it breaks, you've gotta start from scratch." This opening lyric lays out the theme of the song: trust, and the difficulty of gaining it again once broken. The song's title, "Home," serves as a metaphor for this trust, once so safe and comforting, which is now lost within "our friendship." Some of the band's wintry bleakness sweeps in during the chorus, which begins, "I wanna go home / But we broke all the windows there / And now it's cold." The bond that once existed between the song's narrator and his friend is lost, leaving their relationship an empty shell; an abandoned, forsaken home.
Doubting himself, he sings "Am I a fool / For trusting them and trusting you?" Once a betrayal such as this becomes known, you can only look back and wonder whether all of the better times were a lie. The narrator wants to go home, to back to the way things were, but "We tore down the walls that kept our friendship warm." The choice is clear; it's not an easy one, but he must move " ...onto a better place / That's safe and out of reach / From all of you." Only after a clean break can the healing process start.
Birchard's voice is excellently suited for this song; as he croons the melodic vocals, he infuses them with pain and longing. The music is anything but bleak; rather, Birchard's crisp guitar is predominant in the melody, excellently complemented by Drew deWaard on bass and with soft, upbeat percussion by drummer Jeff Goluszka. The combination of lyrics and music leaves the listener with a feeling of hope that the song's narrator can find that better place and start over. "Home" will be featured on Facing Winter's forthcoming album "Gifts from Gravity," but you can listen to the track right now on our site.
View a scan of the printed article: http://facingwinter.com/fw_nitelife.jpg - Suburban Nightlife magazine


Opt Out (EP, 2012)
Origins (EP, 2011)
Four: Volume One (EP, 2010)
Gifts from Gravity (LP, 2010)
Seas Drain Into Space (LP, 2008)
The Sanctuary EP (2006)
The Apple EP (2005)
EP ’04 (2004)



Facing Winter Bio 2012

When asked to describe Facing Winter's forthcoming album vocalist/guitarist Justin Birchard says “These songs make me feel like I'm a streaker at a football game. Sure, it's entertaining and exhilarating to run across a field naked in front of thousands of people... But it's also terrifying. Needless to say, it's gonna be a lot of fun touring this year.”
Despite a busy live schedule in 2011, Facing Winter has been hard at work in the studio and will debut two new projects this year. The first will be an EP of new material entitled “Opt Out”. This 6 song collection will release April 23rd, 2012 and will be sold on an enhanced disc containing an HD music video for the band's new single “October”. The EP will also feature several of Facing Winter's older music videos.
The second of Facing Winter's 2012 releases will drop this September. It'll be a full length album of new material and will be promoted with two new music videos. As they work towards finishing the album, the band continues to perform regularly in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. Later this year they have several tours planned including their first trip to the West Coast.

What do they sound like? Hannah Frank, publicist for Chicago Acoustic Underground says: “The first thing I notice about their sound is its lushness and professionalism. Facing Winter has a true “pop” sound that immediately catches your ear and doesn't let go. Like a distant cry you heard but are not sure you heard just right, it takes your ear up a notch.”
The group plays a thoughtful, guitar-driven style of indie rock. The vocals are smooth but fragile, often unconventional and with no shortage of harmonies. The rhythm section is intricate and tight, but still manages to convey a warm recklessness. Together the band has an approachable sound which appeals to a broad spectrum of music fans. Tony Massih, talent buyer for Cairo and Oasis Cafe says “Hearing Facing Winter is like making love to a thunderstorm”. JD Mathys of Best Media Now describes them as “More than just entertaining, their songs are equally rewarding for both the critic and the casual listener.”
Lyrically, common themes include overcoming adversity, dream-hunting, laughing at life's problems, and the emotional highs and lows brought on by various relationships. Through the years, the group's lyricist Justin Birchard has become known for his sincere and poetic approach to real-life topics.

The story of Facing Winter has no obvious beginning. The group is based out of West Chicago, Illinois and has four members: Justin Birchard, Jeff Goluszka, Dan Perdue, and Brad Jewison.
Dan and Justin were friends before they could tie their shoes and began playing music together in junior high. The two have been heavily involved in the Chicago music scene ever since. Justin is the group's primary singer and guitarist. Dan's focus has mostly been on bass and auxiliary instrumentation. Both are multi-instrumentalists and frequently change roles while recording and playing live.
Jeff Goluszka entered the picture in 2003 and immediately became the band's full-time drummer/percussionist. A short time later, Jeff and Justin became roommates and built a recording studio in West Chicago. Together the pair have worked tirelessly recording albums, playing tours, and promoting the local music scene. With a drumming style that's driving, emotive, and well-executed, Jeff has long been one of the highlights of Facing Winter's live show.
Brad Jewison is the youngest and most recent addition to the group. Joining the others during late 2011, he immediately added a palpable layer of excitement to the band's live performance. Also a multi-instrumentalist, Brad's presence creates a bigger sound and a host of new creative options on stage.

Facing Winter frequently performs both acoustic and rock shows at venues of all types. They have over 50 original songs and can perform for up to 3 hours. As people they are professional, personable, and determined. A quote by Chris Darby of SixtyYearsWar.com sums it up nicely: “Facing Winter is the hardest working band I know. Their work ethic borders on obsessive- they are concerned only with creating the best music they possibly can. And their results can best be described as perfection.”