Wind-Up Radio Sessions
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Wind-Up Radio Sessions

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | INDIE
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Wind Up Radio Sessions’ Bird Eyes
Dan and Marc Kiely began their recorded musical adventure back in 2001 in Dundas when they performed under the Ewok Folk Sessions moniker but by 2007 decided to find themselves outside of where they grew up. The pair took the music they were making to Montreal for a change of scenery and return under the new name, Wind Up Radio Sessions, with a new album called Birds Eyes.
“We decided to try Montreal out because we thought it was a good place to play music. It was a chance to explore a new place, a big city that was a little further away than Toronto. Where you’re from often makes up how you express yourself but we were looking for new experiences, new people, new friends and I think we found a lot of that in Montreal. We took a little time off from music but about three years ago regrouped with Matt Lazenby. When Matt joined up, it was a new group fundamentally. The majority of the music was all new as well so we just wanted to get a fresh start so we decided to change the band
name.”
With one album as a trio released back in 2010, Red Brick House, the band has even recently added Dave Crosbie (another former Hamiltonian) to expand WUPS to a quartet.
“None of us are native to Montreal,” smiles Kiely. “Matt’s actually from the UK and he married a Quebecois girl. Dave ended up coming to Montreal to study history and English at Concordia. I knew him back in Hamilton but we didn’t hang out. I ran into him two years ago, we were looking for someone to round out the band, and he seemed to fit. It made sense since he was from Hamilton as well but he’s also a great guy and musician.”
With Ewok and folk in their original name choice – you knew you were getting guys that liked more acoustic based music and Star Wars references but without the name? Wind Up Radio Sessions are probably a little more confident than quirky these days, taking a more serious approach to their indie-bred folk tunes and offering a clever and concise bunch of songs on Birds Eyes. The results are gaining them praises across the country.
“Folk is kind of like the base that we try to build from,” reasons Kiely. “The album incorporates songs from Matt, Marc and myself so there’s that element of shared creativity and personally for me, it’s a more developed sound and less quirky than our previous music. We tried to make a more poetic album and you can take that as you may. We developed our sound and figured out what we are and how to work with it.”
While most of their scholastic endeavours are completed or at least wrapped up for the year, the band is set to spread the word of Bird Eyes with a stop in their hometown.
“We’re all currently off for the summer, none of us have commitments,” says Kiely. “We’ve been planning this tour for a while and excited about it. This is what we made as our goal and I think we’re going to continue with it. We want to keep it realistic, we all have our own things going, but we all want to make this a priority as much as we can. The summer allows us to do that.
“We’ve talked about relocating to the Hamilton area – three of us in the band are from there now – but it all depends on if we all wanted that,” he adds on the possibility. “Right now, things are progressing well in Montreal and we’re going to be on the road across Canada for the next while. We come back home this weekend. It’s always good to do that. We have a lot of friends and a lot of family that come out to the shows in Hamilton – it’s a good chance to reconnect – with them, with our roots maybe. I’m looking forward to coming back to Hamilton.”

Wind-Up Radio Sessions play this Friday May 25 at the Casbah with Jonny Porter. Doors open at 10pm and $5 gets you in.
Click on windupradiosessions.com - The View


WURS are spending their summer days in a van and the nights on the stage as they promote their latest creation, Bird Eyes. The indie/rock/folk band’s new album wonderfully blends mellow sounds with rock. And their energetic shows are a seeming natural juxtaposition with their relaxed sound that makes them a great band to watch.

As their first national tour together is about to take off, WURS are preparing for life on the road. “I’m looking forward to seeing the country, camping, meeting new people in new places and playing music every night,”says Mike Lazenby of WURS.

WURS now call Montreal home, after merging together from Hamilton, Dundas, and—for Lazenby—Scarborough, England. “I have to endure a lot of Tiger-Cats references and mock British accents,”Lazenby laughs. Let’s face it: that could make for a long time spent in a van together.

Bird Eyes has definitely progressed from their rawer sounding album, Red Brick House. Lazenby says, “Bird Eyes has more of a consistent ‘album’feel, as we took the time to consider each track. The album has a slightly more serious tone to it as well –as always with our music, there’s a lot of pop hooks, but there are darker moments too.”

It’s this blend that keeps the tracks connected with each other. Songs to check out are Little Bird, Backporch, Blades of Grass, and Legally Dead. Legally Dead is Lazenby’s favourite song to perform. “The energy that comes out of that song is almost impossible to convey on record,”he says.

It’s easy to see why fans love watching WURS perform. There’s a lot of love coming at them. “I love the feeling I get from being on stage and really getting into the song, as if it’s still new to me –everyone seems to be in the same frame of mind and connecting with each other’s playing,”he adds. “You feel inspired to give 100% of yourself.”

You can catch the band May 30 at The Apollo. - The Walleye


A home town show is a great way to give a band a morale boost. Lucky for pop-folker’s Wind Up Radio Sessions, they have more than one home town.

“We’re a four-piece based out of Montreal. Three of the band are originally from Hamilton, Ont. and I’m from the UK, so we’re all kind of Montreal transplants”, said multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Matt Lazenby. “We try to have as many home bases as possible.”

Wind Up Radio Sessions is releasing their second full-length album Birds Eyes on May 24. The accompanying tour will feature dates across Canada, including their first show in Windsor at Phog Lounge on May 27.

“It’s good playing intimate kind of places. We’ve never played the Phog Lounge before, but I’ve heard some really good things about it.”

This will be Wind Up Radio Sessions first big tour across the country, and the band has upgraded their touring vehicle for the occasion. “Last time we were touring in a beat up station wagon and we were really crammed in like sardines, so I’m really excited to tour in that.”

The group has recently expanded from a three-piece to a four-mem- ber group by welcoming Dave Crosbie. Lazenby feels that this has made the band’s live shows more cohesive. “There was a lot of in- strument switching before. I think we’re more focused on stage now.”
The band also features brothers Marc Kiely and Dan Kiely, leading to the occasional fraternal squabble. “There’s a slight bit of bickering once in a while, and I’m usually in the middle,” said Lazenby. “It’s mostly in jest though.”

Lazenby thinks the band’s second album compares favourably to 2010’s Red Brick House. “It’s (Birds Eyes) quite poppy with lots of hooks. But in my opinion, it’s more serious, a bit more mature, more adventurous. Our songs are rooted in folk … but they’re still quite poppy; some are a little quieter and some are very loud.”

As for reaching their final hometown in the United Kingdom, Lazenby said it’s a distant goal. “This is our biggest tour we’ve done so far, covering the whole country. The next step is to eventually tour the States. We’d like to hit the UK and Europe in the future hopefully.” - The Lance


Montreal's The Wind Up Radio Sessions wind up on Radio 3 with their fine feathered track "Little Bird", a fun folk-country track with bronze guitars and smooth vocals.

http://music.cbc.ca/play/artist/The-Wind-Up-Radio-Sessions/Little-BirdFrom the album Bird Eyes, the track has a comfortable low-key charisma that's warm and welcoming like a mid-summer night backyard barbecue. - CBC 3


It’s always good to hear when a band figures itself out.

In the case of Wind Up Radio Sessions, the band had two rows it could go down. The band’s debut album, Red Brick House, showed two distinctive sounds. The first was a quieter, coffee-shop-type vibe such as in the playful opener “Me and My Doe.” But the band could also get loud with songs like “Nairobi.”

Bird Eyes is the band’s full-length album, and they’ve definitely chosen the mellower path, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be loud every once in a while. Dan Mangan can get away with being folky and loud at the same time, so why can’t Wind Up Radio Sessions?

The result is certainly a warmer sound. With a wider embrace of the folk-rock genre, the band’s songs radiate with more emotion than ever before. All the proof you need is in the song “Family Bonds,” a gentle song about the pressures of family life.

The opener “Little Bird” is a solid folk-rock number and a great way to open the album. It is followed by “Backporch” which features, as far as I can tell, some synths in addition to your regular instrumental setup. It’s the only song that uses it, making it seem a little out of place, but it’s nonetheless an enjoyable number and unmistakably the band’s own.

“To Be Alone” and “Chesterfields” are two songs that show off the band’s more melodic side. Both songs feature some vocals at the beginning but most of the song is given to extended instrumental solos. While the solos can be cool, the two songs lose a little bit of memorability.

One of my favourite songs was “Legally Dead,” a five-minute piece that shows what this band is fully capable of. Warm instrumentals, great vocals and even some great stop-time towards the end as the band sings “Legally dead/And fully alive.”

The album draws to a close with the gentle “Blades of Grass,” a song as gentle as the song title suggests.

Wind Up Radio Sessions have chosen their path well. For a future release I’d like to hear a little more vocals and fewer instrumental jams, but that’s just my own personal preference. Some of these songs probably translate better when performed live.

Bird Eyes will be out May 24th, via Bandcamp. In the meantime, you can stream “Little Bird” at the bottom of this review.

Top Tracks:”Little Bird”; “Legally Dead” - Greyowl Point


Canada has arguably produced some of the most respected Americana acts, both past (The Band) and present (The Sadies to name but one). ‘Bird Eyes’, the sophomore release of Canadian band The Wind Up Radio Sessions follows in this strong tradition. With the hooky and affecting opener, ‘Little Bird’, the album delivers nine songs that are reminiscent of early Wilco but are unique and clever enough to be more than a mere imitation.

There are a number of different textures to the record ranging from distorted soundscapes to sweet acoustic deliveries (as exemplified in the stand out ‘Family Bonds’), to indie rock. This serves the record well revealing different aspects of the music with each listen.

‘Bird Eyes’ comes across as a confident record made by a band that has set out to make music with depth and range but also played in such a way that the music seems easily come by, as if it’s always been there in the back of your mind.
- Americana UK


Montreal’s Wind Up Radio Sessions have graced the Earth with their all new Bird Eyes. This highly controlled indie folk exploration is a hearty slow burn. ‘Legally Dead’ is a good microcosm of the entire record, a gradual journey through many layers of energy. The adorable innocence of opener ‘Little Bird’ captures the joy of new love.

These same Wind Up Radio Sessions are coming to Wunderbar on June 3rd. Don’t miss them! - Argue Job


I've been a follower of these guys for a few years now as they have been steadily making a name for themselves in and around Montreal. Their debut album, Red Brick House is still among my top listens but I know the guys are currently working hard on their sophomore LP, so stay tuned for that.
- Beable Music


The Wind Up Radio Sessions are just about to release their first full-length CD, Red Brick House. This Montreal alt-folk trio includes brothers Dan and Marc Kiely who grew up in Dundas, Ontario and new to Canada, UK’s Matthew Lazenby. Recorded at Ottawa’s Little Bullhorn Studios with Dave Draves as well as at McGill University and French Kiss Studios, Red Brick House is reminiscent of the Beach Boys, Skydiggers and the lo-fi feel of Lou Barlow’s solo recordings. This is an album that grows on you more and more with each listen. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a drive out in the country on a sunny Sunday afternoon. There's lots of catchy melodies that get stuck in your head and make you want to hum along. “Oh Well” and “Let Me Go” are two of my favourites. Sounds of broken cymbals, toolbox percussion and lots of vintage keys add a quirky flavour to the CD. A lot of the songs seem to be about transitions and specific places; “Pigeons” is about living in Montreal, “Let Me Go” is about being tied down to one place and “Nairobi” is about waiting for the bus. Red Brick House is a great starting point for this emerging band. I look forward to hearing more. - www.nxew.ca


The Wind Up Radio Sessions sound like the progeny of seeds sown long ago by Canadian grand master Neil Young. - The Devil Has the Best Tuna


Call & Response is a series of Q&As with bands, artists and random people we dig that live in Montreal, visit here, or have some dubious connection to the city.

A lot of great things have come out of Hamilton, Ontario over the years. Such as the African Lion Safari park. And Michael Cera. Uh...ok bad example. But I am excited to see Scott Pilgrim. Anyway, the latest export from Canada's steel town are The Wind Up Radio Sessions and their latest release Red Brick House. Oh...what's that? They're from Dundas, Ontario? And they live in Montreal now? Well I can't keep up with everything guys. You can catch them on Canada Day @ Casa Del Popolo or check out their MySpace.

I recently had a chance to sit down with The Wind Up Radio Sessions via the interweb and ask them some very in-depth questions about life and music:

Who is your favorite Canadian Artist?
Matt: Timber Timbre, or 70's Québec teenage pop sensation René Simard!
Dan: Stompin' Tom Connors.

Besides family, friends, other music, and long summer nights, what influences your music the most?
Matt: A combination of curry, lager, freshly cut grass and my cat kneading my stomach like a proud baker with a fresh batch of bread dough.
Dan: Recently, The X Files.

What do you love most about Montreal?
Matt: Neighbourhood strolls that lead to nights of mayhem in alcoholic drug dens of humidity, scantily clad tattooed ladies and hooligans rioting to the sound of onlookers munching on Pogo's.
Dan: The ongoing discovery of new places and people amongst the frequent encounters at familiar dives with familiar faces.

What do you hate most about Poutine?
Matt: Always overestimating my own hunger by ordering a large and being too proud to stop eating.
Dan: The morning after.

Who was your first live concert? Was it everything you had ever imagined?
Matt: REM in Huddersfield, England when I was about 12 years old with my parents keeping their beady eyes on me at all times. Rock n' Roll.
Dan: I'm pretty sure it was either Sharon Lois & Bram or Bob Schneider and the Rainbow Kids.

What's the best way to spend a Million dollars in 10 minutes?
Matt: The KFC millionaire bucket.
Dan: Buy an entire lot of old Volvo wagons to draw parts from and your own personal Volvo mechanic, but I don't know if one million would be enough.

What's the best place you've ever been to?
Matt: The mind of our mascot Golden Retriever Ralph

What's the worst place you've ever been to?
Matt: I used to work at a gigantic corporate Bingo parlour. I can't bring myself to describe the horror.
Dan: The Circus Room in Kitchener.

How did you spend your 16th birthday?
Matt: I have a vague memory of being taken out by my friends to a few local pubs and nearly choking on the smoke of a comedy sized cigar.
Dan: From what I recall, I went to the license bureau to write my beginner's test and spent the rest of the day scaring the shit out of other people on the road. - Midnight Poutine


You probably haven't heard of them yet -- you'll regret that when they hit it big, because The Wind Up Radio Sessions has everything necessary to take their artisanship to the next level. Red Brick House, their first LP, (released independently) features ten phenomenal tracks, making TWURS the next big indie thing. You probably just shuddered at the thought of another Canadian indie band, but believe it or not The Wind Up Radio Sessions are unique. They aren't loud or cerebral like Broken Social Scene, and they're not so mainstream that you dislike them, like, say, The Weakerthans (but I still like them, too!). These new kids in Ottawa give us an almost chill version of indie.

Whether it's the laid back album opener "Me and My Doe" or the perfect sing-along track "Let Me Go" (I totally see myself singing this in front of a campfire this summer), this trio have put together an excellent selection of no-need-to-care indie-folk that will get repeated listens from me. Seriously, keep an eye on these guys and see them live the next time they play a show in town, because this is the best thing to come out of Ottawa in a long time. - Rocking the Mike- Culture Magazine


The Wind Up Radio Sessions is a group started by Hamilton natives Marc and Dan Kiely. Having moved to Montreal, the brothers joined forces with Matt Lazenby, and have now prepared their debut full length album Red Brick House (out March 23rd).

As far as debuts go, Red Brick House is a very strong one. Consisting of eleven well-crafted folk pop songs, the record is highly enjoyable with seldom a misstep.

Kicking off with the laid back, almost jazzy folk of "Me and My Doe", the trio treats the listener to a series of light, bouncy pop songs. Tracks like "Oh Well" and "Registration" boast lovable hooks and a fun, personable sound.

The Wind Up Radio Sessions prove that they aren't afraid to take some chances either. Moving from the Beach Boys-esque breezy harmonies, the group get down to serious business on "No One Cares", a Neil Young-inspired rocker. Quirky organ lends "Let Me Go" the air of a stripped down Blur tune. On the flip side, "Nairobi" is a more intense, sweeping experience.

If you think folk-based music takes itself too seriously, then you need to hear The Wind Up Radio Sessions. They'll show you what you're missing.

Best tracks: "Let Me Go", "In the Morning"

Track listing for Red Brick House:


Me and My Doe
In the Morning
Pigeons
Lazy Bee
Oh Well
Nairobi
Let Me Go
My Only Friend
Photocopies
No One Came
Registration
8.0/10
- Snob's Music


The Wind Up Radio Sessions certainly know how to create fine arrangements. With immaculate sounding acoustic guitars, subtle electric guitar swells, and the addition of piano, xylophone and organ, the band provides a diverse palette of tones to pull from. The jazz/folk fusion of opener “Me and My Doe” creates one of the strongest tracks of the album – especially with the bright piano underscoring the melody of the chorus. “Nairobi” kicks off like a rough-hewn Neil Young rocker with a dance beat to boot.

The biggest strength of the band as exhibited here is their ability to take acoustic-heavy songs from subtle to captivatingly vast. Instead of these songs sounding like gentle tunes in a small room, they sound more as if they are as wide open as a field or the bright blue sky – but this never makes them any less personal. Marc and Dan Kiely and Matthew Lazenby understand the power of musical negative space, but also successfully fill in such space with fitting background vocals, organ flourishes, or droning electric guitar on songs like “Lazy Bee” and “Pigeons.”

However, there are a few particular moments of unevenness. The songs are consistent and beautiful, but sometimes a few lose steam or feel somewhat misplaced. On “In the Morning,” the engaging verses – anchored by a strong ascending bass riff – give way to a chorus that doesn’t fully live up to its potential, playing a bit too much into familiar territory. With its group harmonies and succinct guitar and percussion, “Let Me Go” is fine enough, but an odd centerpiece between “Nairobi” and the absolutely attractive melancholy of “My Only Friend.”

The songs here are well-arranged, but loose, as well. They feel natural and warm. While they don’t necessarily all break new musical ground or consistently escape a sense of familiarity, they are still successful in their own ways. The Wind Up Radio Sessions is a project that has been crafted over the years and, with Red Brick House, it’s clear that time is certainly a theme for the band as well as a positive influence on their sound.
- Mixtape Muse


It's not often you can find a band that successfully integrates multiple songwriters on a record, let alone a teaser EP. Once you start moving in different directions, it's hard to keep the listener engaged. For UK/Canadian based The Wind Up Radio Sessions however, distance and diversity seems to be what pushes them creatively. The trio shares song writing duties and even though all three enjoy the airy side of folk, these songs show the subtle differences and influences of each member and a hint of what their live show offers.

Me and My Doe (penned by Dan Kiely) is a piano & acoustic love song that floats by with a casual nonchalance, as if the Incredible Moses Leroy opted for a jazzy organic theme instead of guitars and electronics. It's also the most immediate track on the EP. The blissful feeling of summers love permeate this effort . His brother Marc settles into a more traditional radio friendly groove on Me and My Friend, letting the acoustic strums and background effects do most of the work.

Lazy Bee drifts into the minor tones to add a bit of depth and darkness to the effort, but unfortunately is is also the least effective number on the EP. And in case you weren't feeling disjointed by the subtle differences, the trio drops a full on anomaly with the uptempo Nairobi. Apparently the band included this song to give you an idea of how it feels to be at one of their shows, and while the spike in energy is nice, I think the band is much more enjoyable when they allow the listener to relax and slink into their relaxed cool.

Overall, the band shows that a laid back vibe isn't reserved for acoustic surfers. They are happy to talk about love over casual strums. I'll be interested to hear the full record because, quite honestly, often too many chefs spoil the broth. Will three different styles of songs, plus the occasional spike from a "live" show work over 10-12 songs? Who knows, but these four songs make me want to find out. - Herohill.com


Although Montreal’s Wind Up Radio Sessions (this is a band name, by the way, not a podcast or anything of the like) bills itself as folk or folk-pop, they also do have a bit of rock in them as well. It is this ability to not just fit into one genre that makes this full-length so appealing.
With the beginning of the album, “Me and My Doe” (I’ll also include the video at the end) it’s easy to fit them into the genre of gentle folk and pop. The guitar sound is very laid-back, the vocals are gentle and there is the occasional piano key. But then, all of a sudden you get to a song like “Nairobi” and then you realize that there’s a lot more to them.
This album has a number of strengths, one in that all three members of the band, Marc and Dan Kiely and Matt Lazenby sing at one point or another. There’s something about group vocals that always seems to get on my good side. As well, no song on the album exceeds the four minute mark. The band is good at getting their messages across in a short time, a good thing in our attention-deprived age.
They also have some very clever lyrics, such as the a phrase from “Let Me Go” (which, by the way, has an organ in it): “God knows I’m second-rate/And God knows I’m trying to redecorate.” Or, my personal favourite lyric from any point in the album, from “Registration”: “Have a sandwich but just not bologna.”
The album has its folk moments, such as in “Lazy Bee” where not only does the guitar sound indicate folk, but so do the vocals. However, like “Nairobi,” “No One Came” is also really heavy, and even has a guitar solo! So it’s not an album that you can easily categorize.
After a second listen, I realized that I liked this album a lot more than I thought I did the first time. It’s a great album to play at a small get-together at someone’s house.
Top Tracks: “Lazy Bee”; “Nairobi”
3.5 Hoots (out of 4) - Grayowl Point


Looks like Dundas, ON (home of Caribou) can lay claim to another musical winner. Now Montreal-based, this folk pop trio feature Dundas-raised siblings Dan and Marc Kiely, plus English expat bassist Matt Lazenby. Following a well-received EP, this full-length debut exudes plenty of low-key charm. There are sweet melodies and harmonies on display in the first handful of tracks then, just as things threaten to get a bit somnolent, they pick up the energy level on "Nairobi," which is full of little twists and turns, and surging energy. All three members contribute to the songwriting, which helps account for the stylistic variety. "Let Me Go" is a quirky piece of alt-pop, while "My Only Friend" brings Hayden to mind. "Photocopies" features a gently ingratiating, organ-driven melody, while the rockier "No One Came" is another winner. Real impressive stuff, though it'd be nice to hear the band wind up the guitars and decibel level just a little more often.
(No Map) - exclaim!ca


Though the name is confusing, The Wind Up Radio Sessions have nothing particular to do with the radio---this is a poppy folk record made by two brothers and a friend. It starts off with a folkier sound, but hits nearly danceable numbers by the end. The songs feel summery and earnest, youthful and emotional, lyrics carefully constructed. The Sessions are at their strongest with peppy Wilco-like tracks like the swaying pop sound of “Oh Well” and the keyboard-driven “Photocopies;" some of the slower songs feel overly clean and Radio 2-friendly. - The Coast


Discography

Spring EP (upcoming 2013)
Bird Eyes (2012)
Red Brick House (2010)

Photos

Bio

Formed in 2008, Wind Up Radio Sessions merge folk, pop and rock sensibilities. Currently calling Montreal home, members originate from Hamilton Ontario and Scarborough UK. Their debut album ‘Red Brick House’ was released in 2010 and the band found themselves on the receiving end of much critical praise. In 2012, the band released 'Bird Eyes' and embarked on a cross Canada tour, again receiving rave reviews and playing festivals such as NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion, and more recently, Canadian Music Week. In early 2013, Wind Up Radio Sessions recorded a 6 track EP, which they will be releasing in the spring, followed by a summer east coast tour.

"This full-length debut exudes plenty of low-key charm. Real impressive stuff." - Exclaim!

“Wind Up Radio Sessions’ Bird Eyes is a record filled with heartfelt folk-rock style songs and it never wavers in quality.”- Pop Matters

“Exemplary Canadian Americana with hidden depths”. – Americana UK

"The songs feel summery and earnest, youthful and emotional, lyrics carefully constructed." - The Coast

“...one of Montreal’s finest up-and-coming bands” - Meet You At The Show

“This is an album that grows on you more and more with each listen” – NxEW

The Wind Up Radio Sessions are:

Marc Kiely - Guitar, Keys, Voice
Dan Kiely - Drums, Guitar, Voice
Matt Lazenby - Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Voice
Dave Crosbie- Guitar, lap steel guitar, Voice