The Wind Whistles
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The Wind Whistles

Band Pop Folk


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"'Window sills' review"

The Wind Whistles

Window Sills

I love these guys. With a little help from their friends, Tom and Liza of the Wind Whistles have created a record where the quality of the production somehow doesn’t mask their personal approach to the songs. With Tom on acoustic guitar and Liza on acoustic bass, they more than successfully evade the trap it seems more and more acoustic artists are falling into these days: being boring. Instead they spin a series of well thought out songs with lovely harmonies and interesting lyrics that make you feel like they’re singing to you in their living room. My favourite songs are still the three tracks that were released on their demo over a year ago, but nonetheless, there aren’t any tracks I’d skip over.

-Jesara Sinclair

4.5/5 - The Link (Montreal)

"What the Folk"

Since meeting at Walk the Line's last show at the Pic, Tom Prilesky and Liza Moser have been inseperable. Along the way, they've formed a folk band, the Wind Whistles, and crafted a high-spirited debut album, Window Sills. Like true folk artists, their musical process is simple: in the morning, Liza brushes her teeth and starts humming, Tom whips out the guitar and joins her, Liza grabs the bass, Tom starts dinner and somewhere along the way a song is made. The band (along with supporting cast of good friends who randomly join in here and there) are currently gearing up for a tour starting with several dates at home in B.C. and ending in venues across Europe.

Discorder: When and how did the Wind Whistles come to be?

The Wind Whistles: After backpacking across Europe in the spring of 2005, we moved in together and started doing most things together. It was inevitable that we'd start making music together in one shape or another. Don't be surprised if you see us come out with a heavier rock project in the next couple of years. We make mouth techno too.

D: Do you have anyone helping you these days, like a record label?

WW: Nope. Everything's "do-it-yourself". We're still debating the pros and cons of being “labeled”. We do happen to be SOCAN and Music BC members and also organize a local folk festival called Beanstalk.

D: Where can the Wind Whistles be found live in action?

WW: We tend to think of Cafe Deux Soleils as our ‘home’ venue and we also like to play at the Railway Club. We have a bunch of shows coming up in and around Vancouver and then we’re going on tour for six months: first with our friends the Greenbelt Collective to Winnipeg and back, then to Europe and the UK, and then across Canada starting on the East Coast.

D: Who does the writing in the band and what do you usually sing about?

WW: Tom wrote Window Sills, but since then we’ve started collaborating more together. The topics are a little scattered because we tell stories in our music, and every once in a while we subtly crusade for a cause we believe in. Topically we’ve avoided love-related songs, but that might change a little over time.

D: Who are your major influences right now?

WW: There is this Czech record that we recently pulled out from Tom’s parents’ collection that we’ve been pretty into lately. They are a 70’s tramp folk band called Brontosauri. There is so much music that we listen to that it’s pretty hard to pick out what we are directly influenced by, but we find our friends pretty inspiring: The Burning Hell, Greenbelt and Fraser MacLean, to name a few.

D: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

WW: Our songs have gotten shorter. We started out with a lot of material, and mostly through the process of recording our album, we’ve decided what songs not to play. What was left defined our best parts and narrowed down our sound.

D: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

WW: Because there are essentially only two of us, problems within the band don’t really come up. So, our biggest challenge is in a lack of communication with outside sources when we’re, for example, working on booking a tour, or getting our album reviewed. It seems like 100 emails go out, and 5 come back. We overcome this acknowledging the fact that a lot of DIY bands have to deal with this and we just have to persist. Every time something works out, it feels really good, so it’s worth the work.
- Terry Schneider - Discorder Magazine

"Album review"


On more than one occasion, Tom Prilesky, one half of the Vancouver-based duo that makes up the Wind Whistles, croons and weaves words eerily like Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. This isn’t too strange, seeing as their debut album, Window Sills, is a positively folksy affair. Prilesky drops lyrics like “sail my ship to Africa”, “I’ll meet you out on the train”, and similarly vagabond-like vocals that echo themes in many a Decemberist song. Where these folktale similarities end, Prilesky and fellow-Wind Whistle Liza Moser branch out on a risky limb, take some friends along for the ride, and hold on tight.
Window Sills is a veritable jam session as the Wind Whistles invite various talents to sing along, compose and strum, resulting in a compilation of simple songs that sound like friends making music in somebody’s basement. Scratch that: Friends making music in a rustic cabin, on an island, surrounded by wild deer and a wooded glen. When night falls, they all keep jamming, a melancholy ballad emerges here and there (the captivating “River”), and in the morning friendships are stronger and good prospers over evil (“Good friends won’t rip you off” is so feel-good it hurts).
The reality is that the disc was mixed and recorded in a local studio, but you can hear the rich fantasies behind the tunes. These are songs that tell stories-solid harmonies with a diversity that could only be achieved by having eighteen performers rally together on twelve tight tracks.

Katie Nanton – Discorder Magazine Feb. 2008 issue

- Discorder Magazine


It's always a bit of a hit and miss affair when artists contact you direct to review their material. The independent music scene has never been more fruitful, but it still turfs up as much rubbish as it does good quality material.
This, the debut album from the Canadian male/female duo The Wind Whistles certainly falls in to the latter category however, and credit is indeed due to them for pushing their music to as wide an audience as possible.
Recorded in a very earthy, almost live way, it brings a sense of atmosphere and feeling to the tracks that can so easily be lost with over production. Interesting use of lyrics in a storytelling style gives this record depth both with the haunting and heartfelt, to the fun and playful. The chemistry between both key members, Tom and Liza, is bought out both in the vocal harmonies they create, and also the sense of fun and togetherness that this record promotes. At times it seems like they are having one wild endless jam session with whoever happens to be around. This carefree attitude to making music is a breath of fresh air and brings out a very organic, free-spirited side.
It's on the whole a very solid piece of work. At times it is awe-inspiring, yet there is the odd song that maybe doesn't quite hit the spot. From a personal point of view, the more whimsical, ballad style numbers work superbly well, with Tom's soaring vocal giving them real edge – but as suggested, the more upbeat tracks certainly have their place and give it good variety.
They tour this country in the summer, so do check them out – and when you do, pick up this record as it'll be worth your money.
Phil Daniels – May 25/08
- Phil Daniels -

"Discorder Aug. 09"

Love, nature and being a genuinely rad person seem to be the gist of Animals Are People Too from this Coquitlam-based duo. The album starts off with charismatic and catchy tracks about keeping it real in “Turtle,” “Judo” and “House for a Mouse.” These tracks feature some delightful drumming and a bouncing bass that fosters folksy lyrics, an acoustic and electric guitar into a pleasant pop package while, “Making Your Own Stuff” and “Sleeping Lions,” promote a message of cultivating a harmonious ecological consciousness. This message becomes dormant in “Bats in Flight” and “The Sun” as the subject matter focuses on life and love. The theme of love continues on “The Fish and the Worm,” a well told story of a relationship on the rocks, when someone realizes the other is putting the kibosh on it. During the song the counterbalance between the duo’s voices is fully realized, and the Wind Whistles catch sail and set course for excellence.

Review by L.E. Portelance - Discorder

"Georgia Straight Aug. 09"

Right from the opening chords of “Turtle”, with its up-tempo country shuffle beat and whimsical vocal delivery, the Wind Whistles are seemingly adept at disguising cute roots-rock-inflected pop songs with clever ruminations on life's lessons, even when it comes at the expense of their own artistic endeavours. As the song “After All” asks, “What if our talents go nowhere?”

Thankfully, that's a question the duo of Liza and Tom won't have to answer anytime soon, even if, as in the song “Making Your Own Stuff”, a bright future in percussion manufacturing or clothes making lies ahead. But maybe a few “Judo” lessons wouldn't hurt either—good for building a backbone to withstand gibes from those who would write the Wind Whistles off as just another folk act obsessed with animals and acoustic guitars.

Don't let the pictures in the CD booklet of a bat commandeering a single propeller aircraft and a fluffy slumbering lion fool you; there are more messages of loss, false hope, and frailty here than you would want in any children's fantasy tale, as evidenced by the more sombre tone on tracks like “The Quietest Voice” and “The Fish and the Worm”. Yet it's these songs that mix the poignant with the playful that help the Wind Whistles stand out and make for a solid debut worth listening to.

By Bryce Dunn - Georgia Straight

"Now magazine Toronto"

The standout track on the Wind Whistles’ second full-length is Making Your Own Stuff, a sparse one-minute song about how to make your own rope out of plants and pants, and your own set of drums out of cans and pans. It nicely illustrates the Vancouver duo’s guiding DIY attitude, which has spurred them to make two albums and tour Canada and Germany with very limited resources.

It doesn’t always make for astounding music, though there’s an endearing quality to the gentle acoustic-guitar-fuelled songs that helps us overlook their lack of focus and polish. Liza and Tom’s vocals nicely contrast with and complement each other (hers are wispy, his throaty), while second-last song Spooks has a guitar solo that commands attention.

By Carla Gillis - Now Magazine

"This folky duo bring a K records sensibility to their songs"

The boy/girl vocals are very K records, very honest, the music too is somewhere between the sophistication of Microphones and the crudeness of Beat Happening, so a kind of primitive lushness. They’re able to move from noisier electric rock songs like ‘Art and Work’ to the gentle acoustics of ‘Treehouse Lullably’ (which is tender with caresses of strings and tears of pedal steel – a melancholy delight). Liza’s vocals are of the unaffected Julie Doiran school and Tom’s warm open tones complement her perfectly.

‘Judo’ is a shoe-in for a Mirah comparison, there’s a relaxed charm about the songs, ‘Bats in Flight’ plies a rockabilly beat and various electronic effects to create an atmosphere full of the ordered confusion of a swarm of sonar guided critters, ‘Sleeping Lions’ builds up a more forceful personality, foot stomping folk with growing crescendos. They manage to cram in plenty of variety without losing sight of their core folk-pop sound; it’s a bit like a demo version of Camera Obscura. I’m quite taken by this, there’s an awful lot to enjoy and not a moment when it doesn’t entertain in some way, an understated delight.

David Cowling - Americana UK

"I am the crime blog review"

I’ll be honest: at first, I didn’t think I would like The Wind Whistles. They seemed a bit too folk-pop cutesy, in a we-knit-our-own-sweaters-and-play-spontaneous-tributes-to-mother-nature-while-out-walking kind of a way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I personally can’t knit to save my life and am currently hating mother nature for making it so damn hot. (Although I guess the human race have a part in that as well.)

Anyway, the point is I was so sure I wouldn’t like them, only to end up having their latest album Animals Are People Too on repeat for a week. Not every song speaks to me and Liza’s voice feels a bit too thin at times but overall it’s a very good record. Sweet without being sickly and rather catchy at times. Best tracks: “Turtle”, “House For a Mouse”, “The Fish and The Worm”, “The Sun”, and “After All”. (Although “Judo” has the biggest tendency to get stuck in my head, even if I don’t like it very much.)

06/29/2009 05:43 pm by Cecilia - I am the crime

"Song by Toad"

The Wind Whistles are a band from Vancouver, Canada, who make rather sunny folk pop, with more than a little tinge of americana. This is the follow up the their debut album ‘Windowsills‘.

That album was one of my favorites of last year, and so it’s hard not to judge this in relation to the previous release. And whilst the first album is perhaps more immediate, with more obvious hooks and sing-along choruses, ‘Animals Are People Too’ is definitely a development. It’s still very accessible, but there’s a little more depth – a more prominent guitar and keyboard sound to the near acoustic recording of the debut. There’s some really nice subtle touches, like when the slide guitar and drums kick into ‘Bats in Flight’, or the chorus refrain of ‘The Fish and the Worm’ – which only appears once during the track, and so becomes more rewarding on each listen. It manages to create what so many bands fail to do – catchy songs, but with enough depth to them to keep you coming back for more.

The writing is really economical too – by that I mean each track does what it needs to do, and then moves on. Nothing ever outstays it’s welcome – only one going over the four minute mark. The whole thing bounces along with rolling drums and jaunty bass lines. Chutters described them as a more gentle Woodenbox, and I think that’s a pretty good reference point.

For me, what’s most interesting about the band is their approach to making music. Both this and the previous release are on Aaahh Records – the CD can be bought at full price from the website or at gigs, or the digital version can be downloaded on a pay what you want basis. (As an added incentive, a secret third album is made available for a minimum donation of $8). Last time they played Edinburgh they were half way through a mammoth six month tour. They play again at the start of July (cough), and looking at the tour schedule they don’t seem to be cutting back any. From what I can tell they spend half a year working ‘proper’ jobs, saving money and recording an album, then once it’s ready they packs their bags again and spend the rest of the year touring to support the release. Aaahh records is by no means a major operation, this being only the sixth release. And so it really seems to be the band themselves organising the tours, financing it all themselves.

Really inspiring stuff.

Bart June 21 09


Window sills (2007)

Animals are People Too (2009)

The Secret Album (2009)



“The Wind Whistles have the stamina of a Grizzly bear”, wrote one reviewer of their previous album 'Window Sills'. Fittingly enough, The Wind Whistles are coming out with their new thematic full length titled 'Animals are people too'. Because, you know, people are animals. Too?

The beginning of The Wind Whistles can be traced back to early 2006, after Tom and Liza returned from an inspiring voyage overseas. Their original plan was to make a folk duo that could pull the sonic weight of a full band. With Liza on acoustic bass and Tom on acoustic guitar, she would often play the downbeat and he would take care of the backbeat. Adding their alternating and harmonizing voices to the mix, the duo crafted a sound flexible enough to grace festival stages and livingrooms alike. When the Animals arrived however, some things changed...

Tom and Liza have always had a love for heavier music. Tom came from the spazzy noise-punk outfit of 'The Nature of Things' and Liza is currently part of the grunge band 'Bad Fate'. Being on the road with The Wind Whistles six months of 2008, and unable to vent their edgier creative tendencies into other projects, this energy began to seep into their new songs. While songs like 'Turtle' or 'Treehouse Lullaby' provide a solid link to 'Window Sills', 'Animals are people too' is a decidedly less folky record. The 13 song album, which has a handful of songs at just 2 minutes length, burns with a determined focus and plays like a pop-rock album begotten by acoustic instruments. With Animals, The Wind Whistles have opened up their hearts wider than ever and forged a quirky nook for themselves with a style that lacks any direct comparison.

In 2009 The Wind Whistles completed two full length albums ('Animals are people too' and 'The Secret Album') and once again spent 6 months of the year touring across Europe and Canada. Right now they're a bit pooped, but plan to spend most of 2010 working on their next release.