win win Winter
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win win Winter


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"Performer Magazine - Review"

With influences ranging from the classic rock of Pink Floyd and The Beatles to the experimental stylings of Beck, Tampa, Fla.’s Win Win Winter are carving a sound for themselves based on southerntouched riffs and sweeping lyrical builds. Combining the indie melodies of D.C. post-punks Dismemberment Plan with the raw twang of Wilco, members Tommy Simms, Matthew Bennett, Alan Relkin, Brian Schnack and Joshua Greenberg have barely been together a year but have already played some of Florida’s biggest festivals, sharing the stage with Spoon, Minus the Bear, Dresden Dolls, Mates of State and The Stills.

A Brief History Of... marks the group’s first EP on Tampa-based indie label 24 Hour Service Station and is a solid outing from the Florida fivesome. Effortlessly transitioning from quiet country melodies to up-tempo pop, the songs all build and break at several points within their time allotment, creating a consistently undulating feel throughout the record. Attempting to maintain a juxtaposed mood with lyrics and melodies, it ends up that the one far outshines the other. It is the combination of Simms’ and Relkin’s fluctuating guitars that draws you in more so than the vocals, which can seem a bit too high-pitched and out of place at times. Midway through “Doves and Uppercuts,” the group nails it with Relkin and drummer Matthew Bennett creating a gorgeous sound scape over which Simms’ vocals float perfectly, and you’re left wishing that sound would have filled all five minutes of the song rather than just the last two.

By far the strongest track on the EP is “Exit Rows.” Captivating you immediately with a building synth and easing into a bit of bluesy guitar, the track perfectly exemplifies the balance of experimentalism and classicism you could feel the group had been striving for from their opening song. This is the point where all five members’ singular talents

finally meld together to form a cohesive and moving piece of music.

Although it’s easy to say that these boys are simply riding the coattails of other southern crafted rockers like My Morning Jacket, the brightest spots on A Brief History Of... solidify that the group is well on its way to finding and honing that balanced sound that will set them apart. Experimental enough to capture the attention of discerning musical tastes, and yet not so much so that it makes them inaccessible, Win Win Winter are more than poised to successfully build on what those before them have laid out. (24 Hour Service Station)

-Lindsey Ibarra - Performer Magazine

"Best Band"

Win Win Winter and the phrase “best new band” often appeared in the same sentence this past year.
The acclaim happened overnight — sort of.

When singer-songwriter-founder Tommy Simms started playing solo in late 2006/early 2007, there were signs of promise, but his self-titled act lacked focus.

Simms changed the name to Win Win Winter and a sudden transformation took place, like when the Bucs switched from Bucco Bruce orange to crimson and pewter. Soon after, the lineup solidified with longtime friends Josh Greenberg on keyboards, Alan Relkin on guitar, Brian Schanck on bass and Matt Bennett on drums.

Word of mouth spread, the local press praised them, they booked more and more shows and landed a spot on burgeoning indie label 24 Hour Service Station, which released their current six-song EP, A Brief History of ....

One of the major components of Win Win Winter’s strategy: Simms’ knack for interweaving the tried-and-true elements of pop with the less predictable chord progressions of jazz and progressive rock. He also writes evocative, empathic lyrics and sings them succinctly. He can snag a hook just right and hit you later with a snazzy breakdown.

WWW’s most popular songs, New Accents and Doves and Uppercuts, infiltrate your brain like tunes you’ve heard a million times on the radio, minus that not-so-fresh feeling.

“Tommy’s songs always have something that grabs your attention and commands it,” Greenberg said. “He is also very open to collaboration, which prevents his music from becoming too much of a vanity project. He is consistently reaching for new ideas and isn’t afraid to work and work at it if it’s not working out, which is another aspect of his strength as a songwriter: patience.”

Simms couldn’t do it alone. The guys, who vary in age — Schanck is the youngest at 21, and Greenberg the oldest at 27 — are just as solid. They provide much-needed creativity and texture and widely contrasting musical backgrounds — Greenberg and Relkin from Mants, Schanck from the Same and Bennett from various punk bands.

They’re all friendly jokesters onstage and off, even going so far as to insert a hidden gag on the inside of their CD sleeve: the simple phrase, “Gay Wizards Three.”

“We came up with it on tour while playing Mad Libs,” Greenberg says. The three words, he explained, were part of a revamped nursery rhyme:
“Old King Cole was a busted old soul / A shriveled old soul was he/ He called for his grandma/ He called for his postal employee/ And he called for his gay wizards three.”


"Win Win Winter"

Win Win Winter
Words: Julie Martin

The fairytale has taught us to beware and take note of things that come in threes. The logical progression follows that once is happenstance, twice is coincidence but thrice dictates a pattern. When things repeatedly show themselves we follow the thread to the tangled end and this is how I happened upon Win Win Winter.

One airy evening decked in cowboy boots I ventured out to the New World Brewery to see the long-haired Willowz. I was sure be on time; days earlier I had a cursory listen to the opening acts lined up and one caught my attention: Win Win Winter. After what I thought was a lovely set, I procured a free CD from one of the fellows and popped it into my CD player when I got home. I was definitely pleased with what I heard. Suddenly, after this show, their name kept appearing on bills. Before then, I had never heard of them and decided that this pronounced appearance shouldn’t be ignored. I contacted the band for an interview and what I learned is what I’d love to share with you.

To bring the story full circle, we met at New World where I’d first seen them. The five piece band piled out of one car as: Tommy Simms, guitar/vocals; Joshua Greensberg, keys; Derrick Hutek, drums; Charlie Curtis, bass, and Evan Walker, guitar. The members have roots in the numerous burgs of California, sans drummer Hutek who truly brings the cool of winter hailing from Michigan.

As we chatted, it became apparent that most of the boys had prolific musical backgrounds in which family was a rich soil that nurtured the innate inclination to make music. Pianist Greensberg’s mother was a jazz singer and pianist in Atlanta, and drummer Hutek helped his mother run an orchestra and swing band in Clearwater until recently. According to Simms, “the benefit of growing up here Clearwater is there’s nothing to do but play music.”

Essentially, Simms captured the method of making music as “not playing anything no one wants to play.” Hutek interjected by adding, “We finally have a group of people where everyone is competent with their instruments.” The process is organic and comes together as a group. For the most part words are the soul of Simms: “I’m constantly writing even if there’s no music.” On average playing 2 – 3 times a week, Simms expressed, “I’m constantly getting sick of songs. I want to have a large catalogue of music. I don’t like being forced to play the same set at every show.” However, “We don’t practice as much if we end off on a positive,” says Hutek about a satisfactory rehearsal and boosting moral before a show.

2007 will see the release of Win Win Winter’s LP, Here in America. I was curious about the conventions of writing and recording. One of the things I loved about the songs was the literary technique of juxtaposition, using the content of lyrics versus the mood and atmosphere of music to create counterpoint, “to share two emotions at the exact same time, you can do that with lyrics.” The example Simms used is a song entitled “Millions of A’s”, which is an epic ten minutes that ends with gigantic screaming over a twang country beat. Another is the gorgeous yet wrenching sound embraced in “Doves and Uppercuts”, while a lighter pop feel is realized in the inquisitive “We Came from Stereos”, “New Accents” is the song that lingered in hums on the tip of my tongue for days. “We’re into fidelities,” says Walker as Simms explains the feel of achieving Hi-fi and Lo-fi sounds by adding electronic phrases over live instrumentation.

When we discussed the local music scene and venues, WWW were thrilled to share that we sat at one of their favorite places to play. It became clear that the general sentiment was good faith in the direction music was growing in the community. Walker’s major side project, Headset, was recently aligned as openers for the much anticipated Dr. Dog show, a spot that was originally intended for WWW to play yet was kept in the family. Win Win Winter will be playing July 20th at the Royal Theatre in Clearwater with Headset and Tommy Simms sister, Juliet in Automatic Loveletter. This show will set off a mini-tour through the southeast and will conclude on July 30th at Crowbar with the Mooney Suzuki and Dark Romantics.

Get wrapped up:
- REAX Music Magazine

"Meet Win Win Winter"

The band: Tommy Simms, guitar and vocals; Evan Walker, guitar; Charlie Curtis, bass; Joshua Greenberg, synths, xylophone, piano; and Derrick Hutek, drums.

Home base: Clearwater.

CD: Here in America (2007).

Newest members: Greenberg, from Mants and Skyline; Curtis, ex-bass player for Side One Dummy Records' the Briggs.

Progressions and digressions: The band's sing-along, tap-along parts play a secondary role to Simms' unconventional molding of arrangements and storytelling.

Simms: "It actually annoys the people I play with because it's not like three measures on the verse. It's like three measures this verse, six measures this verse; okay this chorus goes next a few times. . . . There's a few songs that are very cut and dried, but I like to progress as the song builds."

Songs up close: Doves and Uppercuts tells the true story of a twin falsely accused of murdering his brother.

Someone Like Me "is about middle class life, " Simms says. He wrote it when he was working two jobs and he and his wife were living with her parents after their baby was born. "I needed to make some money to get us out of the situation, " he says. "You'll hear in the song, 'Her worry shows envelopes with tiny windows.' "

Her Favorite Day is a sad song with a sunny pop feel. "I wanted to create an uncomfortableness like the Beach Boys did in Vanilla Sky, " he says of a scene in the movie where the camera cruises around Tom Cruise's distressed character to the tune Good Vibrations.

Statesman inspiration: "I really got into listening to Sufjan Stevens, " the iconoclastic balladeer known for recording CDs themed after U.S. states, Simms says.

Major side project: Juliet Simms, Tommy's sister, who is based in L.A. and has connections to Beck, was signed to Epic Records. Simms contributes heavily to her songs pre- and post-production.

Cute side project: Simms' daughter, Willow, was born Oct. 15.

Check 'em out: At 10 p.m. Saturday with Life of Pi and Clock Hands Struggle at New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $7. (813) 248-4969.

- St. Petersburg Times

"Win Win Winter - Spoon Reveiw"

This week's CD

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is the sixth LP from Austin band Spoon - who are forever stuck in almost-famous mode. You don't hear Spoon on FM radio but Britt Daniel and company have been featured on snazzy ringtone commercials and in the Will Ferrell film Stranger Than Fiction. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is like Spoon's White Album - there's a spirit of experimentation and playfulness, intentionally misspelled words in titles and a tune with one repeating piano sequence (hence the album title) as haunting as "No. 9, No. 9, No. 9..."

This week's reviewers

Members of win win Winter - Tommy Simms, Josh Greenberg and Brian Schanck - get Ga Ga with Julie Garisto.

Brian: (On Track 2: The Ghost of You Lingers) Honestly, I don't like this.

Josh: A song on the latest LCD Soundsystem starts with a sort of staccato piano like this, but it's got more syncopation. It's really good.

Tommy: This reminds me of (starts singing) "She's a maniac! Maniac!"

Brian: There's good melody and harmony in it, but you're waiting for guitar, bass, drum to come in, but nothing does.

Julie: It's got that incomplete feeling, like you're in perpetual suspense.

Josh: I don't know. I like it. I like it quite a bit.

Tommy: I love that wet, nasty reverb.


Tommy: (Track 3: You Yr. Cherry Bomb). It's got a little Motown feel.

Josh: Like a little bit of Phil Spector; a little less embellished.

Tommy: I love that tambourine! I always hear tambourines in songs and say I'm going to do that and I f---ing forget to do it. ... I like their use of reverb. The lead vocal is really dry. And then they have that thing in the background.

Josh: Strange elements of the completely dry and wet.

Tommy: It's that spring reverb. You can tell it's an acoustic recording. Listen to those bells! So Motown-y. God, I love this song. Listen: There's an out of tune piano. ... Imperfections make songs so awesome.

Julie: What really intrigues me about Spoon is that they sound simple but they're not. They put so much into their recording. They know what they're doing - they don't overwork it.


Tommy: (Track 5: Rhthm and Soul). It's almost weird, like he's doing a Pink Floyd delay on his vocal. ... It's so simple! They take the simplest idea, and the build on it and build on it and build on it. Incredible.


Tommy: (On Track 7: The Underdog) I can't believe Jon Brion produced this song. It's sounds like too simple of an arrangement for him.

Julie: To me, this CD is the most consistent and strong of the Spoon albums - where all the songs are equally good - but lyric-wise, none of them grab me like Everything Hits At Once (On Spoon's Girls Can Tell). They're smart lyrics but nothing I can associate with an event in my life.

Tommy: This was the first time we listened to the CD. I put off listening to it until we did this review. We're recording right now, and it was inspiring. ... As far as real music lovers go - anyone who has an inkling of what's good music - I don't see how they would not appreciate this album.

Josh: I can see more of a classic rock aficionado getting into it.

Julie: Or pop?

Josh: It might be too complex for people who say, "I like the Beatles, but I also like Nickelback." ... It might appeal to people who like, say, the Shins. It's easy-listening indie rock.

Tommy: It's not Battles. You're not going to pop it in and go, "What the f---!"

Brian: I'd say it's a wide range, age-wise.

Tommy: I could see my mom loving it, and I could see my sister loving it. ... Cody (Borden) said it best during our Disco Nap interview for tbt*: "If rock 'n' roll kept on a steady pace from when mainstream was good, like during the times of the Beatles and Stones, Spoon would be the product of rock not getting perverted."

- Tampa Bay Times


Self Titled EP,
Live on WMNF 88.5 fm.
"I'm on my way" 2007,
"A brief History of..." 2008



Dynamic, melodic, dramatic indie rock, drivin by soulful vocals and powerful cord progressions, synths and vintage keys, They have found a perfect zone to live in musically, "Everyone's new favorite indie rock band" Says Tampa Bay Times.Win Win Winter, was formed in Tampa FL. They have been plying in bands in the Area for years. The members have an eclectic musical background, having been in bands from, math rock to dance rock and finally finding there home in Win Win Winter. This band has really caught the attention of Tampa's music scene, having large write-ups in every musicial publication in Tampa Bay and most recently booking a Slot on Miami's single stage festival, Bang Music Festival with Smashing Pumpkins, Spoon, the Bravery, Explosions in the Sky and more. With the release of their upcoming EP and quickly following it with their album they are slated for couple of very prominent tours in 08.