Hear The Track Here
Over the relatively short time I have known James Crosbie Hancox (aka JCH..geddit?) I have learned that he - first and foremost - a songwriter who thinks seriously and deeply about what he does. Which accounts for the praise heaped on him for projects such as the Painting By Numbers LP (June 2010), a whole album made up of songs made with one chord. Sounds a whole lot better than it should do, given the premise. He followed that up by some sharp tracks showing that ideas were one of his main strengths, although I have yet to hear something from him that really pins my ears back but I think that is just a question of time.
If you didn't know that James was from Liverpool, then certainly the style of Winter will give you the relevant sound cues; up-front, thoughtful vocals, lots of jangly guitars and soaring organs... Damn, but this is a busy track, there is a lot going on that will only register if you play the track more than once or twice. For sure if you like rock pop with just a hint of The Beatles, then I think this is the closest to that James has ever been. Although I've remarked a time or two about the musical heritage he grew up with, I don't think it's featured so strongly before in his tracks.
Apparently this song dates back to 1988 and was written for another project but it sounds pretty up to day to me, especially given the great interest in all things retro. The instrumental lineup - and overall sound - of Winter is a retro delight complete with Ringo style drums. Had I not had some experience with this musician, I might have assumed he was merely aping the greats, but this is one musician who really doesn't need to do that. Winter then, should be seen as a wonderful nod of respect to the musical style that started it all.
Highly Recommended Retro...