Winchester Warm
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Winchester Warm

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Winchester Warm - Sky One Room

(Independent) By Carla Gillis

With Winchester Warm, vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Pearce and drummer/vocalist Matthew Godin take a step away from the tight, jangly indie rock they pursue with Ottawa/Montreal mainstays Poorfolk and toward Pearce’s folky, singer/songwriter roots.

Fans of Poorfolk might need a moment to adjust. The duo’s debut is raw, bare-bones and itchingly slow. Aside from opening track Up In The Belfry, the vibe is almost despondent, and Pearce’s upfront vocals tender but plain.

The acoustic guitar/drums format doesn’t allow for much variety, but when arrangements expand to include vocal harmonies, lap-steel, banjo and piano, some welcome cheer peeks through.

Changing up a staid format often gives musicians a fresh perspective and renewed vitality, which WW will hopefully tap into next time around. Till then, Sky One Room holds its own as a cozy, slow-burning, winter-hibernation album
- NOW Magazine


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Winchester Warm - Sky One Room

(Independent) By Carla Gillis

With Winchester Warm, vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Pearce and drummer/vocalist Matthew Godin take a step away from the tight, jangly indie rock they pursue with Ottawa/Montreal mainstays Poorfolk and toward Pearce’s folky, singer/songwriter roots.

Fans of Poorfolk might need a moment to adjust. The duo’s debut is raw, bare-bones and itchingly slow. Aside from opening track Up In The Belfry, the vibe is almost despondent, and Pearce’s upfront vocals tender but plain.

The acoustic guitar/drums format doesn’t allow for much variety, but when arrangements expand to include vocal harmonies, lap-steel, banjo and piano, some welcome cheer peeks through.

Changing up a staid format often gives musicians a fresh perspective and renewed vitality, which WW will hopefully tap into next time around. Till then, Sky One Room holds its own as a cozy, slow-burning, winter-hibernation album
- NOW Magazine


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Sky One Room

WINCHESTER WARM
Indépendant

jeudi 20 janvier 2011, par Nicolas Pelletier
Lancé en tant que projet folk, en marge des activités du groupe rock Poorfolk, Winchester Warm devient, à force de performances et maintenant avec ce premier album, un groupe en soi. Jon Pierce et Matt Godin ont formé un duo autosuffisant : le premier joue de la guitare et chante, alors que le second joue de la batterie et chante également. À deux, grâce à leurs harmonies vocales, ils couvrent le spectre instrumental essentiel au folk, tout en conservant un aspect épuré.

Leur folk américana en est un de qualité, tout en restant volontairement les deux pieds ancrés dans la simplicité. On repassera pour l’originalité, mais on ne peut que leur donner une bonne note pour la beauté constante de leurs harmonies vocales (Surfs Up) et souligner leur exploit de sonner aussi bien (et aussi « large ») pour un simple duo. Bien sûr, sur CD, Pierce s’est permis quelques pistes de guitares superposées – ce qu’il ne peut évidemment pas reproduire en concert – mais Winchester Warm demeure un album très simple et épuré. L’enregistrement de la voix principale, celle de Pierce, est par contre parfois de mauvaise qualité sur ce premier opus indépendant. On tombe parfois dans la qualité « démo » du côté de la voix, avec des échos un peu mal calibrés.

Alors que son groupe principal, Poorfolk, vire de plus en plus vers un rock électrifié, Pierce attribue ses compositions les plus sensibles à son nouveau projet, lui réservant son jeu plus acoustique. Les chansons présentées ici sont toutes intéressantes, mais aucune n’est vraiment géniale, faute de mélodies vraiment accrocheuses, ou de moment phare au sein de l’album. « Pardon » est peut-être la meilleure pièce du lot, une coche au-dessus de la moyenne dans ces 41 minutes de folk.

Ces deux gars d’Ottawa ont une excellente réputation au niveau scénique : plusieurs critiques ont manifesté leur coup de cœur à l’écoute de la performance authentique, bien sentie et rigoureuse du duo Pierce-Godin. Le nom du groupe, sonnant très western, vient tout simplement de la première phrase d’une de leurs chansons, évidemment intitulée « Winchester Warm » - emoragei magazine


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Sky One Room

WINCHESTER WARM
Indépendant

jeudi 20 janvier 2011, par Nicolas Pelletier
Lancé en tant que projet folk, en marge des activités du groupe rock Poorfolk, Winchester Warm devient, à force de performances et maintenant avec ce premier album, un groupe en soi. Jon Pierce et Matt Godin ont formé un duo autosuffisant : le premier joue de la guitare et chante, alors que le second joue de la batterie et chante également. À deux, grâce à leurs harmonies vocales, ils couvrent le spectre instrumental essentiel au folk, tout en conservant un aspect épuré.

Leur folk américana en est un de qualité, tout en restant volontairement les deux pieds ancrés dans la simplicité. On repassera pour l’originalité, mais on ne peut que leur donner une bonne note pour la beauté constante de leurs harmonies vocales (Surfs Up) et souligner leur exploit de sonner aussi bien (et aussi « large ») pour un simple duo. Bien sûr, sur CD, Pierce s’est permis quelques pistes de guitares superposées – ce qu’il ne peut évidemment pas reproduire en concert – mais Winchester Warm demeure un album très simple et épuré. L’enregistrement de la voix principale, celle de Pierce, est par contre parfois de mauvaise qualité sur ce premier opus indépendant. On tombe parfois dans la qualité « démo » du côté de la voix, avec des échos un peu mal calibrés.

Alors que son groupe principal, Poorfolk, vire de plus en plus vers un rock électrifié, Pierce attribue ses compositions les plus sensibles à son nouveau projet, lui réservant son jeu plus acoustique. Les chansons présentées ici sont toutes intéressantes, mais aucune n’est vraiment géniale, faute de mélodies vraiment accrocheuses, ou de moment phare au sein de l’album. « Pardon » est peut-être la meilleure pièce du lot, une coche au-dessus de la moyenne dans ces 41 minutes de folk.

Ces deux gars d’Ottawa ont une excellente réputation au niveau scénique : plusieurs critiques ont manifesté leur coup de cœur à l’écoute de la performance authentique, bien sentie et rigoureuse du duo Pierce-Godin. Le nom du groupe, sonnant très western, vient tout simplement de la première phrase d’une de leurs chansons, évidemment intitulée « Winchester Warm » - emoragei magazine


"Propulsive folk: Winchester Warm brings songs new and old"

The acoustic caress of the music of Winchester Warm has been described as something of an antidote to the “propulsive rock” of Jonathan Pearce’s other band, Poorfolk.

It’s a tag that may raise the odd eyebrow among locals familiar to the four-piece Poorfolk. For, while the two-piece Winchester Warm is decidedly restrained in its approach, Poorfolk is not exactly The Ramones. Even by comparison.

“I like melody,” Pearce admits, acknowledging that his music is never less than melodic. “But this is a nice change of pace.”

It’s a change necessitated in part by Poorfolk bassist Scott Freeman’s decision to go to paramedic school. The band, Pearce states tentatively, “is sort of on hiatus at the moment.”

Enter Winchester Warm, a project that puts guitarist Pearce together with percussionist Matthew Godin, and the duo’s album, Sky One Room. Abetted by lapsteel player Matthew Corbiere, Pearce and Godin filled the Poorfolk gap with an 11-track gem of a gentle album.

“I had these songs that just didn’t fit in with Poorfolk anyway,” Pearce says of the material, “and Matt and I had started jamming together.”

Some of those songs pre-date even Poorfolk. The pensive Hardline Industry, for example, waited nearly a decade to secure a place in Pearce’s recorded catalogue. Its theme, though, fit with the disc’s melancholy mood.

“When we started playing together a couple of years ago,” Pearce says of the bittersweet Sky One Room, “Matt and I were dealing with the end of longterm relationships — so that comes through in the songs. That also put me in mind of some older songs I hadn’t used.”

And to exorcize those relationship demons, Pearce and Godin went to church, recording the album at McLeod-Stewarton United over two summers.

“We had talked about doing it not in a conventional studio,” Pearce says. “The church seemed right, though we had to do things like setting up the drums in a corner. The sound was too huge at the altar.”

And they weren’t even playing propulsive rock. - thewig.ca


"Propulsive folk: Winchester Warm brings songs new and old"

The acoustic caress of the music of Winchester Warm has been described as something of an antidote to the “propulsive rock” of Jonathan Pearce’s other band, Poorfolk.

It’s a tag that may raise the odd eyebrow among locals familiar to the four-piece Poorfolk. For, while the two-piece Winchester Warm is decidedly restrained in its approach, Poorfolk is not exactly The Ramones. Even by comparison.

“I like melody,” Pearce admits, acknowledging that his music is never less than melodic. “But this is a nice change of pace.”

It’s a change necessitated in part by Poorfolk bassist Scott Freeman’s decision to go to paramedic school. The band, Pearce states tentatively, “is sort of on hiatus at the moment.”

Enter Winchester Warm, a project that puts guitarist Pearce together with percussionist Matthew Godin, and the duo’s album, Sky One Room. Abetted by lapsteel player Matthew Corbiere, Pearce and Godin filled the Poorfolk gap with an 11-track gem of a gentle album.

“I had these songs that just didn’t fit in with Poorfolk anyway,” Pearce says of the material, “and Matt and I had started jamming together.”

Some of those songs pre-date even Poorfolk. The pensive Hardline Industry, for example, waited nearly a decade to secure a place in Pearce’s recorded catalogue. Its theme, though, fit with the disc’s melancholy mood.

“When we started playing together a couple of years ago,” Pearce says of the bittersweet Sky One Room, “Matt and I were dealing with the end of longterm relationships — so that comes through in the songs. That also put me in mind of some older songs I hadn’t used.”

And to exorcize those relationship demons, Pearce and Godin went to church, recording the album at McLeod-Stewarton United over two summers.

“We had talked about doing it not in a conventional studio,” Pearce says. “The church seemed right, though we had to do things like setting up the drums in a corner. The sound was too huge at the altar.”

And they weren’t even playing propulsive rock. - thewig.ca


"The Hair of the Dog Award for Most Successful Hangover Cure"

Winchester Warm
Sky One Room
(Self-released; 2010)

The Walkmen and the Hold Steady have spent the better part of a decade establishing their reputations as the world’s preeminent purveyors of Intelligent Drinking Music (the lesser-known, surlier IDM). And indeed if you find yourself on a night bus home armed with nothing more than earbuds and a flask of bourbon, there really is no better soundtrack than the classic Bows + Arrows (2004) / Separation Sunday (2005) double-bill. The catch, of course, is that you must face the morning after, though happily not alone: there exists a soothing inversion of IDM, a kind of aural antidote for the hangover’s grueling beatdown. This year the cure came in the form of Winchester Warm’s Sky One Room, an album of austere, deeply felt folk rock that’s gotten me through more head-splitting weekday hangovers than I’d care to admit. I don’t fully comprehend this record’s almost mystical healing properties but I will certainly attest to their potency—even wallowing in the depths of the most blistering hangover imaginable, Sky One Room somehow manages to pierce a headache’s seemingly insurmountable defenses and greatly assuage. - Cokemachineglow


"The Hair of the Dog Award for Most Successful Hangover Cure"

Winchester Warm
Sky One Room
(Self-released; 2010)

The Walkmen and the Hold Steady have spent the better part of a decade establishing their reputations as the world’s preeminent purveyors of Intelligent Drinking Music (the lesser-known, surlier IDM). And indeed if you find yourself on a night bus home armed with nothing more than earbuds and a flask of bourbon, there really is no better soundtrack than the classic Bows + Arrows (2004) / Separation Sunday (2005) double-bill. The catch, of course, is that you must face the morning after, though happily not alone: there exists a soothing inversion of IDM, a kind of aural antidote for the hangover’s grueling beatdown. This year the cure came in the form of Winchester Warm’s Sky One Room, an album of austere, deeply felt folk rock that’s gotten me through more head-splitting weekday hangovers than I’d care to admit. I don’t fully comprehend this record’s almost mystical healing properties but I will certainly attest to their potency—even wallowing in the depths of the most blistering hangover imaginable, Sky One Room somehow manages to pierce a headache’s seemingly insurmountable defenses and greatly assuage. - Cokemachineglow


"“Sky One Room” Album Review"

This folk duo from Ottawa really knows how to cut to the bone. With simple arrangements of mostly acoustic guitar and drums, the Jonathan Pearce/Matthew Godin combination churns out some very emotionally-charged yet simple music.

Many of the songs may start with a simple acoustic riff followed by drums. That being said. the instruments work in harmony with each other- rarely did I notice the drums or guitar seperately- they seemed to meld into one piece of music.

Pearce’s vocals are also an intrinsic part of the musical process- they are perfectly suited to their brand of music and add the final layer to the emotional wallop some of these songs for deliver. In “Cracks and Clues” Pearce sings: “More than I needed to/I was clinging on for dear life.”

As the record progresses there is a good mix of slow songs and slightly faster songs (this is folk, after all!) which show vulnerability and playfulness, respectively. Songs like “Miss You For Dinner” and “Hardline Industry” hit especially hard, particularly the latter which has a really simple acoustic riff for the first minute or two. Songs like “Up in the Belfry” and “Winchester Warm” showcase the more fun, playful side of the duo.

There really isn’t that much more to say here- other than this is another band to add to your list of great Canadian folk acts. - Grayowl Point


"“Sky One Room” Album Review"

This folk duo from Ottawa really knows how to cut to the bone. With simple arrangements of mostly acoustic guitar and drums, the Jonathan Pearce/Matthew Godin combination churns out some very emotionally-charged yet simple music.

Many of the songs may start with a simple acoustic riff followed by drums. That being said. the instruments work in harmony with each other- rarely did I notice the drums or guitar seperately- they seemed to meld into one piece of music.

Pearce’s vocals are also an intrinsic part of the musical process- they are perfectly suited to their brand of music and add the final layer to the emotional wallop some of these songs for deliver. In “Cracks and Clues” Pearce sings: “More than I needed to/I was clinging on for dear life.”

As the record progresses there is a good mix of slow songs and slightly faster songs (this is folk, after all!) which show vulnerability and playfulness, respectively. Songs like “Miss You For Dinner” and “Hardline Industry” hit especially hard, particularly the latter which has a really simple acoustic riff for the first minute or two. Songs like “Up in the Belfry” and “Winchester Warm” showcase the more fun, playful side of the duo.

There really isn’t that much more to say here- other than this is another band to add to your list of great Canadian folk acts. - Grayowl Point


"Music scene heats up with Winchester Warm"

Jon Pearce's interests include: parliamentary Question Period (which he helps cover at Ottawa's CPAC cable station), obsessively rocking out to the musical stylings of Kanye West ("Should I be embarrassed?"), and of course, getting ready to start Winchester Warm's Canadian tour with bandmate Matt Godin.

1 of 2

Please, see our show so we no longer have to play on the streets Pearce's eclectic pastimes can tell you something about what Ottawa folk-rock duo are about - serious tunes served up with a side of irony and a sense of fun.

On the heels of fellow Ottawa acts like Snailhouse and The Acorn, Winchester Warm have been working to create their own brand of stripped-down acoustic tunage. Skipping the security of their label, White Whale Records, they've branched out from the harder rock they were playing as members of Poor Folk toward a quieter, rootsier aesthetic. Lyrics and harmonies are central, as is a sense of place: the noun-intensive title of their debut album, Sky One Room, was taken from a Korean apartment complex where Pearce lived as an ESL teacher. That was, he explains, the place where the latest album first began to take shape.

How did these two morph from Poor Folk into Winchester Warm?

"Matt and I had both become suddenly single, and the current band came about out of our crumbling relationships - drinking beer, writing some nice little songs to speed the road to recovery. In a way, our meeting was serendipitous - we clicked personally and musically, due to our similar life circumstances, it's resulted in some great music."

"Acoustic guitar is my love," explains Pearce. "Some of my songs were being lost in the rock'n'roll format we were doing with Poor Folk. Matt set up this small drum kit in the living room, and we took it from there. We started playing house shows, and small gigs. Having the stylistic versatility to do that is really nice."

Is his beloved Kanye coming on the road with them?

"We need to sit down and have a meeting about what we're putting on the iPod," Pearce laughed. " But hey, maybe we'll open for him? We've got some time to figure that out. - Here (New Brunswick)


"Music scene heats up with Winchester Warm"

Jon Pearce's interests include: parliamentary Question Period (which he helps cover at Ottawa's CPAC cable station), obsessively rocking out to the musical stylings of Kanye West ("Should I be embarrassed?"), and of course, getting ready to start Winchester Warm's Canadian tour with bandmate Matt Godin.

1 of 2

Please, see our show so we no longer have to play on the streets Pearce's eclectic pastimes can tell you something about what Ottawa folk-rock duo are about - serious tunes served up with a side of irony and a sense of fun.

On the heels of fellow Ottawa acts like Snailhouse and The Acorn, Winchester Warm have been working to create their own brand of stripped-down acoustic tunage. Skipping the security of their label, White Whale Records, they've branched out from the harder rock they were playing as members of Poor Folk toward a quieter, rootsier aesthetic. Lyrics and harmonies are central, as is a sense of place: the noun-intensive title of their debut album, Sky One Room, was taken from a Korean apartment complex where Pearce lived as an ESL teacher. That was, he explains, the place where the latest album first began to take shape.

How did these two morph from Poor Folk into Winchester Warm?

"Matt and I had both become suddenly single, and the current band came about out of our crumbling relationships - drinking beer, writing some nice little songs to speed the road to recovery. In a way, our meeting was serendipitous - we clicked personally and musically, due to our similar life circumstances, it's resulted in some great music."

"Acoustic guitar is my love," explains Pearce. "Some of my songs were being lost in the rock'n'roll format we were doing with Poor Folk. Matt set up this small drum kit in the living room, and we took it from there. We started playing house shows, and small gigs. Having the stylistic versatility to do that is really nice."

Is his beloved Kanye coming on the road with them?

"We need to sit down and have a meeting about what we're putting on the iPod," Pearce laughed. " But hey, maybe we'll open for him? We've got some time to figure that out. - Here (New Brunswick)


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

For only being a duo, Winchester Warm certainly make a lot of good noise. Sounding as though a mix of the Scud Mountain Boys and Neil Young influences them, these beautiful indie-folk-rock tracks cunningly seep into your sub-conscious. Though the group’s two members sound like a full band on tracks like Up In The Belfry and Surf’s Up, the stark beauty of tracks like I Forget Nothing and Miss You For Dinner just might leave you speechless. - Musicnerd.ca


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

For only being a duo, Winchester Warm certainly make a lot of good noise. Sounding as though a mix of the Scud Mountain Boys and Neil Young influences them, these beautiful indie-folk-rock tracks cunningly seep into your sub-conscious. Though the group’s two members sound like a full band on tracks like Up In The Belfry and Surf’s Up, the stark beauty of tracks like I Forget Nothing and Miss You For Dinner just might leave you speechless. - Musicnerd.ca


"Get a Sky One Room"

It's silly, but a small part of me wishes that Jonathan Pearce had released Sky One Room under the Poorfolk moniker (rather than as Winchester Warm), preferably as part of a double album, with the other half being full of the kind of raucous rock that typified Our Burning Street.

I mean, I know why he didn't: Sky One Room's gentle acoustic folk is pretty far removed from Poorfolk's sound, so it's only natural that Pearce would want to differentiate the two projects by releasing the music with a different band. But still, considering that Our Burning Street reminded me so much of Foo Fighters, I just think it would've been kind of awesome (albeit in a very bizarre way) if Pearce had continued to follow career arc.

Anyway, that nonsense aside, Winchester Warm -- who, I should point out, is currently on an East Coast tour with Giant Hand -- shows that Pearce is capable of being interesting even when he's not rocking out. Songs like "I Forget Nothing" and "Up In The Belfry" are warmly engaging, combining heartfelt lyrics with emotive vocals and pleasant acoustic guitar. It's a winning combination, and one that makes Sky One Room a perfect soundtrack to cold winter nights. - Iheartmusic.net


"Get a Sky One Room"

It's silly, but a small part of me wishes that Jonathan Pearce had released Sky One Room under the Poorfolk moniker (rather than as Winchester Warm), preferably as part of a double album, with the other half being full of the kind of raucous rock that typified Our Burning Street.

I mean, I know why he didn't: Sky One Room's gentle acoustic folk is pretty far removed from Poorfolk's sound, so it's only natural that Pearce would want to differentiate the two projects by releasing the music with a different band. But still, considering that Our Burning Street reminded me so much of Foo Fighters, I just think it would've been kind of awesome (albeit in a very bizarre way) if Pearce had continued to follow career arc.

Anyway, that nonsense aside, Winchester Warm -- who, I should point out, is currently on an East Coast tour with Giant Hand -- shows that Pearce is capable of being interesting even when he's not rocking out. Songs like "I Forget Nothing" and "Up In The Belfry" are warmly engaging, combining heartfelt lyrics with emotive vocals and pleasant acoustic guitar. It's a winning combination, and one that makes Sky One Room a perfect soundtrack to cold winter nights. - Iheartmusic.net


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

After getting an email from Poorfolk‘s Jon Pearce politely asking us to check out his latest musical reinvention, I spent the first two listens trying to figure out whose voice I was hearing. After I figured out who I kept hearing while I listened to Jon – kudos to the good people at Slowcoustic for the aid – I was free to focus on the music and the songs revealed themselves nicely.



Winchester Warm is a slight twosome (Matt Godin on drums) out of Ottawa, but everything about them seems more full of life and bigger than two focal points should allow. Obviously, I couldn’t help but hear the similarity between Pearce and Will Sheff‘s vocals, but what also leads to the highly complimentary Okkervil River comparison is that even though Matt and Jon start tracks using only bar bone arrangements as open as the room they were recorded in, but Winchester Warm slowly and assuredly expands using energetic builds and instrumentation that give a warmth to even the most melancholic tale.



As Sky One Room progresses you settle into the heart break and loneliness and start to embrace both. Even with the warming harmonies, tambourine and thicker collage of “I Forgot Nothing” or the banjo that perks up “The Wedding”, the songs still feel like the weight he’s been saddled not the one Pearce is desperately trying to push off his chest. The band is compact, as is the effort but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting with the pain that never completely goes away. - Herohill


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

After getting an email from Poorfolk‘s Jon Pearce politely asking us to check out his latest musical reinvention, I spent the first two listens trying to figure out whose voice I was hearing. After I figured out who I kept hearing while I listened to Jon – kudos to the good people at Slowcoustic for the aid – I was free to focus on the music and the songs revealed themselves nicely.



Winchester Warm is a slight twosome (Matt Godin on drums) out of Ottawa, but everything about them seems more full of life and bigger than two focal points should allow. Obviously, I couldn’t help but hear the similarity between Pearce and Will Sheff‘s vocals, but what also leads to the highly complimentary Okkervil River comparison is that even though Matt and Jon start tracks using only bar bone arrangements as open as the room they were recorded in, but Winchester Warm slowly and assuredly expands using energetic builds and instrumentation that give a warmth to even the most melancholic tale.



As Sky One Room progresses you settle into the heart break and loneliness and start to embrace both. Even with the warming harmonies, tambourine and thicker collage of “I Forgot Nothing” or the banjo that perks up “The Wedding”, the songs still feel like the weight he’s been saddled not the one Pearce is desperately trying to push off his chest. The band is compact, as is the effort but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting with the pain that never completely goes away. - Herohill


"Winchester Warm makes first trip to Metro"

In a day where the ability to play musical instruments is quickly becoming a secondary skill, it is refreshing to know that bands like Ottawa's Winchester Warm are there to balance things out. With a sound that recalls the music of roots-country band The Jayhawks, the group will be performing at Café Aberdeen, inside the Aberdeen Cultural Centre located at 140 Botsford St., on Friday, Jan. 14.

Enlarge Photo REMI THERIAULT PHOTOOttawa two-piece Winchester Warm recorded its latest record, Sky One Room, in a church. Interesting to note, Winchester Warm originally got its start as a side-project to another band its band members had played in. The group is now the primary focus for all involved with their other band having fallen by the wayside.

"Matt and I had actually played together in a previous band called Poorfolk," Winchester Warm's Jonathan Pearce says.

Although Poorfolk had initially started as Pearce's outlet for music not unlike Winchester Warm, the band evolved into a four-piece rock group.

"We ended up having some songs that didn't quite fit the rock n' roll repertoire of Poorfolk so we started writing songs and jamming in Matt's living room around two and-a-half years ago."

Comprised of only Pearce and his bandmate Matt Godin, keeping things simple, both musically and functionally, is one of the group's core values. Even though their instrumentation is limited to acoustic guitar and drums for the bulk of their live shows, the band can indeed rock just as hard as a group with twice as many members. By having only two band members, Winchester Warm ends up being more versatile than a group with more than two members, affording them the opportunity to play intimate venues such as living rooms and cafes while also allowing them the opportunity to play the club circuit in any given city across the country.

"We have some people that play live with us when we play around Ottawa but otherwise we started the band with just the two of us and decided to keep the group as such. I tend to use a lot of open tuning when I play, so a lot of what would be bass lines are already covered," Pearce says.

Recorded over the span of six days (three days in August 2008 and another three days in August 2009), the group recorded the bed tracks for their newest record, Sky One Room, in a church in the Ottawa area. Finishing touches for the record ended up being completed in the more familiar surroundings of friends' homes.

Given the natural acoustic beauty of churches, the idea to make a record in such a venue was planted while Pearce was still in high school and his band at the time would rehearse at a church.

"We were totally going to record in our living room and then the idea struck me to call my friend Sam and see if we could make the record in this church and fortunately the answer was yes. It was a great experience to have had."

Winchester Warm's upcoming show in Moncton is one of only four that they are playing in the region as like many other musicians, the duo balances playing in a band with other life responsibilities. Nonetheless, Pearce says that he and Godin and very much looking forward to their first trip to the Maritime region.

"I have been to Atlantic Canada for work but have never had the pleasure of playing shows so both Matt and I are looking forward to finally getting out there to play."

* Ken Kelley is a Moncton-based writer, music fanatic and author of the entertainment blog www.musicnerd.ca - Times and Transcript


"Winchester Warm makes first trip to Metro"

In a day where the ability to play musical instruments is quickly becoming a secondary skill, it is refreshing to know that bands like Ottawa's Winchester Warm are there to balance things out. With a sound that recalls the music of roots-country band The Jayhawks, the group will be performing at Café Aberdeen, inside the Aberdeen Cultural Centre located at 140 Botsford St., on Friday, Jan. 14.

Enlarge Photo REMI THERIAULT PHOTOOttawa two-piece Winchester Warm recorded its latest record, Sky One Room, in a church. Interesting to note, Winchester Warm originally got its start as a side-project to another band its band members had played in. The group is now the primary focus for all involved with their other band having fallen by the wayside.

"Matt and I had actually played together in a previous band called Poorfolk," Winchester Warm's Jonathan Pearce says.

Although Poorfolk had initially started as Pearce's outlet for music not unlike Winchester Warm, the band evolved into a four-piece rock group.

"We ended up having some songs that didn't quite fit the rock n' roll repertoire of Poorfolk so we started writing songs and jamming in Matt's living room around two and-a-half years ago."

Comprised of only Pearce and his bandmate Matt Godin, keeping things simple, both musically and functionally, is one of the group's core values. Even though their instrumentation is limited to acoustic guitar and drums for the bulk of their live shows, the band can indeed rock just as hard as a group with twice as many members. By having only two band members, Winchester Warm ends up being more versatile than a group with more than two members, affording them the opportunity to play intimate venues such as living rooms and cafes while also allowing them the opportunity to play the club circuit in any given city across the country.

"We have some people that play live with us when we play around Ottawa but otherwise we started the band with just the two of us and decided to keep the group as such. I tend to use a lot of open tuning when I play, so a lot of what would be bass lines are already covered," Pearce says.

Recorded over the span of six days (three days in August 2008 and another three days in August 2009), the group recorded the bed tracks for their newest record, Sky One Room, in a church in the Ottawa area. Finishing touches for the record ended up being completed in the more familiar surroundings of friends' homes.

Given the natural acoustic beauty of churches, the idea to make a record in such a venue was planted while Pearce was still in high school and his band at the time would rehearse at a church.

"We were totally going to record in our living room and then the idea struck me to call my friend Sam and see if we could make the record in this church and fortunately the answer was yes. It was a great experience to have had."

Winchester Warm's upcoming show in Moncton is one of only four that they are playing in the region as like many other musicians, the duo balances playing in a band with other life responsibilities. Nonetheless, Pearce says that he and Godin and very much looking forward to their first trip to the Maritime region.

"I have been to Atlantic Canada for work but have never had the pleasure of playing shows so both Matt and I are looking forward to finally getting out there to play."

* Ken Kelley is a Moncton-based writer, music fanatic and author of the entertainment blog www.musicnerd.ca - Times and Transcript


"Winchester Warm experiences divine intervention"

When you record your album in a church, it’s not surprising that it sounds spiritual.

That’s what the guys in Winchester Warm, singer and guitarist Jonathan Pearce and drummer Matthew Godin, were looking for when they recorded their debut album Sky One Room in McLeod-Stewarton United Church in Centretown in 2009.

A little divine intervention. Couldn’t hurt.

What they got instead was a nearly perfect aural environment to record in.

The fact that Pearce and Godin’s voices twain beautifully together adds to the album’s angelic sound.

“You can really hear the church on the recording,” Pearce says. “Producer Jarrett Bartlett (of Kelp records fame) set up a third microphone just to record the room. It was like having a third singer.”

That supernatural environment also helped to give the 11 songs — heartbreakers mostly with a couple lovey-dovey wedding tunes thrown in — a lonely, wintry resonance.

Recorded in 2008-2009, Sky One Room resonates with that sense of longing and introspection that infuses much of the songwriting.

The songs are sweet and sincere. Pearce is meticulous when it comes to matching the right word with a nice melody.

“It’s our end of the relationship album,” Pearce laughs. “Everyone has to record one. We decided we’d get it out of the way.

“There is a stream of melancholy running through the album, but I’m not a sad-sack by nature. I’m pretty hopeful.”

Since its local release last May, the album’s sold strongly enough for the label to release the album nationally yesterday.

That means Winchester Warm will be taking their act on the road across Canada in January.

“We never had aspirations to hit the big time with an album. We weren’t looking to sell lots of records.”

Once members of Ottawa rock band Poor Folk, Pearce and Godin split and head out on their own as Winchester Warm in 2007.

“We were getting tired of rock and roll,” the 33-year-old Pearce admits.

“We’re wanted to get back to basics.

“There’s a warmth to the scene here in Ottawa. It’s vibrant and supportive and yet isolated enough to be unique.”

- Ottawa Sun


"Winchester Warm experiences divine intervention"

When you record your album in a church, it’s not surprising that it sounds spiritual.

That’s what the guys in Winchester Warm, singer and guitarist Jonathan Pearce and drummer Matthew Godin, were looking for when they recorded their debut album Sky One Room in McLeod-Stewarton United Church in Centretown in 2009.

A little divine intervention. Couldn’t hurt.

What they got instead was a nearly perfect aural environment to record in.

The fact that Pearce and Godin’s voices twain beautifully together adds to the album’s angelic sound.

“You can really hear the church on the recording,” Pearce says. “Producer Jarrett Bartlett (of Kelp records fame) set up a third microphone just to record the room. It was like having a third singer.”

That supernatural environment also helped to give the 11 songs — heartbreakers mostly with a couple lovey-dovey wedding tunes thrown in — a lonely, wintry resonance.

Recorded in 2008-2009, Sky One Room resonates with that sense of longing and introspection that infuses much of the songwriting.

The songs are sweet and sincere. Pearce is meticulous when it comes to matching the right word with a nice melody.

“It’s our end of the relationship album,” Pearce laughs. “Everyone has to record one. We decided we’d get it out of the way.

“There is a stream of melancholy running through the album, but I’m not a sad-sack by nature. I’m pretty hopeful.”

Since its local release last May, the album’s sold strongly enough for the label to release the album nationally yesterday.

That means Winchester Warm will be taking their act on the road across Canada in January.

“We never had aspirations to hit the big time with an album. We weren’t looking to sell lots of records.”

Once members of Ottawa rock band Poor Folk, Pearce and Godin split and head out on their own as Winchester Warm in 2007.

“We were getting tired of rock and roll,” the 33-year-old Pearce admits.

“We’re wanted to get back to basics.

“There’s a warmth to the scene here in Ottawa. It’s vibrant and supportive and yet isolated enough to be unique.”

- Ottawa Sun


"Big Beat: Songs worth listening to in 2010 - Ottawa's Music Scene"

Up in the Belfry -Winchester Warm (from Sky One Room)

Jonathan Pearce and Matthew Godin are the sort of duo that makes you wonder why anyone needs a larger band. Seamless indie roots rock, sometimes quiet, sometimes not. Up in the Belfry opens the album with a bit mid-tempo melancholy. - Ottawa Citizen


"Big Beat: Songs worth listening to in 2010 - Ottawa's Music Scene"

Up in the Belfry -Winchester Warm (from Sky One Room)

Jonathan Pearce and Matthew Godin are the sort of duo that makes you wonder why anyone needs a larger band. Seamless indie roots rock, sometimes quiet, sometimes not. Up in the Belfry opens the album with a bit mid-tempo melancholy. - Ottawa Citizen


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Winchester Warm

Sky One Room (independent)

Acoustic guitar, drums and two voices are the only tools this Ottawa duo uses on stage, a set-up as deceptively simple as their downbeat folk songs. Abetted on this debut LP by bits of piano and electric and lap steel guitars, Jonathan Pearce (formerly of Poorfolk) and Matthew Godin craft rich and rewarding songs, not just with sound, but with open-heart narratives and melodies that offset melancholy with anthemic arcs. 8/10 (Lorraine Carpenter) - Montreal Mirror


""Sky One Room" Album Review"

Winchester Warm

Sky One Room (independent)

Acoustic guitar, drums and two voices are the only tools this Ottawa duo uses on stage, a set-up as deceptively simple as their downbeat folk songs. Abetted on this debut LP by bits of piano and electric and lap steel guitars, Jonathan Pearce (formerly of Poorfolk) and Matthew Godin craft rich and rewarding songs, not just with sound, but with open-heart narratives and melodies that offset melancholy with anthemic arcs. 8/10 (Lorraine Carpenter) - Montreal Mirror


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Winchester Warm play music of the moody post-indie-folk variety, flush with soaring vocal harmonies, offbeat percussive threads and shimmering guitar flourishes. What started out as a simple duo hoping to, in some small way, replicate the singularity of Simon & Garfunkel, has since transformed into something bigger. 

While addition of some new members has at times pushed the band into more conventional "rock" territory, they strive to maintain the intimacy and simplicity of the original lineup, of always attempting to only do what they deem necessary to do right by the "song." In ragged, dogged servitude of the "song."

The group's began recording their follow-up to debut album "Sky One Room" in February 2013 with Ottawa's renowned sonic prince, Jarrett Bartlett. Their long-awaited sophomore album, "Like Hell," will finally be released in late May 2014.


Band Members