Winona Forever
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Winona Forever

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFM

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Pop Indie

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"Bump “5alive”, The New Single From Montreal Band Winona Forever"

Far from your token guitar pop group, Montreal’s Winona Forever mix funk, R&B, and jazz into their infectious rock songs–often adorning their cool grooves with trumpet licks and saxophone solos. Vibrant west coast energy meets an unpretentious east coast cool with these boys. Initially conceived as a straight-ahead power pop group, Winona Forever formed as high school students in Vancouver, where several of their songs and music videos were recorded and produced (and yes, the band name was partially inspired by the infamous Johnny Depp tattoo).

Winona Forever bassist Isaiah Dobbs leads the hip-hop/R&B project Schwey with keyboard player Jacob Schwinghammer and other members of Winona Forever. Some of these outside influences inevitably make their way back to the band, even if it’s through a certain attitude or a particular vibe. You can hear it on Winona Forever’s most recent singl “5alive,” a swaggering, deceptively robust two-minute jam.

Ben Robertson usually sings lead vocals for the band, but on “5alive” Rowan Webster-Shaw lends his voice to the exuberant pop rock production. With nearly four years under their belts, the band are now experts at tweaking the Winona Forever formula in search of something new. But Winona Forever are truly on a path to greatness with this new single. - Indie Current


"VIDEO PREMIERE: Winona Forever – “Heads or Tails”"

VANCOUVER – It’s hip, it’s laid-back, it’s so aesthetically pleasing it feels like something Wes Anderson could get behind. Self-described crewneck enthusiasts Winona Forever are dropping their new single “Heads or Tails” and premiering its video at the same time. BeatRoute talked tunes and tape with bandmates Rowan Webster-Shaw, Ben Robertson, Alexander Bingham and Isaiah Dobbs in an exclusive first look.

Maestro director Lester Lyons-Hookham brings his signature polish to the project. Working with the director — his previous work includes videos for Peach Pit and the Jins — left Winona Forever feeling starry-eyed. “Lester took such a thorough approach to the visual execution which was really nice,” says the band. “When we got to all hang out in our basement and capture that energy of us playing it together it felt really rewarding.”

The process wasn’t all roses though, “The hardest shot to get was the spinning band overhead shot in our basement,” the band confesses. “While it looks pretty in the video, we had to rush to set up and tear down that room because our basement had started flooding that week.”

You’d never know it. The song oozes reverie with lyrics “is this for real? No heads or tails? I’m head over heels.” Its dizzying love lorn perspective is captured with fluid takes and snapshots of west coast hipster life. A recurring theme of being left spinning is communicated through circular imagery. So the overhead shot circling the band mimics the vinyl in the corner, which mirrors the architecture, which reappears in the measuring tape and…well, see how many more circles you spot.

Lyons-Hookham’s cinematography is on point with rhythmic cuts that punch up the dreamy vocals. Vocalist Ben Robertson conjures up early Ben Folds Five tone at moments. The jazz-loungey melody is underscored with bright horns and cheeky guitar chord bends.

Want more “Buddy Holly” geek-chic from Winona Forever? “We have a handful of songs next in line to be finished after ‘Heads or Tails,’” says the band. “There should be new material by summer!”

In the meantime, check out the music video release party tonight at Club Sofa. The band promises “Dancing! Hydration! Merch! Visuals!” and a guest set by local wunderkinds, Schwey. - Beatroute


Discography

Feelgood LP (2019)
Gazing (2019)
5alive (2019
Heads or Tails (2018)
Keep Kool (2017)
This Is Fine (2016)

Photos

Bio

Since releasing their first EP in 2015, Winona Forever have strived to create the best possible self-produced content,  prioritizing punchy rhythms and fun melodies. Their process has come a long way since the first demos, much of which can be attributed to drummer Alexander Bingham’s time at recording school. The band released a handful of singles between 2017-2018 including Keep Kool and Heads or Tails. Featuring horns and more ambitious instrumentation than previous releases, these songs pushed Winona Forever to new audiences. With a positive reception on popular Youtube channels, music blogs and streaming services, Winona Forever recently passed three million total streams on Spotify alone.  


In the spring of 2018 the band relocated to Montreal, and did their second cross-Canada tour in the process. Winona Forever has made the most of the opportunities Montreal has had to offer, playing festivals like POP Montreal and M for Montreal. 2019 marked the release of the Feelgood LP, an album two years in the making with four singles creating high anticipation. 2019 also brought the band’s US debut, with a sold out Santa Ana show at the Constellation Room being the highlight of a nine date tour. Currently the band is demoing new material and continuing their international touring plans.

Band Members