Winter Aid is the musical name for the songs Shane Culloty makes in Dublin. They can involve guitars, singing, and deadly synths.
The debut release 'The Wisp Sings', was released on Bluestack Records in 2013. The EP was warmly received, garnering effusive praise and comparisons to all those other bearded, earnest men blessed with a friendly falsetto but things really changed when Spotify highlighted it in a playlist and it slowly began to spread, gathering fans as the playcount climbed into the millions (8 and counting).
Shane set about following this success with a debut album. Originally it was to be cut from
the same cloth as the EP, but as the record took shape, it became clear it would be a
different beast. The pastoral ghosts that filled the EP were now joined by a new spirit a
flickering nostalgia, in the form of VHS distortion, tapeworn synths, and, in the album art,
the holy shrines so inescapable in eighties Ireland. Songs recorded to tape in Kerry a
decade earlier now found new expression, with drum machines and found samples nestling
between the delicate vocals of Culloty and guest Carol Anne McGowan (Hidden Highways).
Producer Darragh Nolan (Sacred Animals) was enlisted to bring an experienced polish to the
joyful mess of styles, Marc Gallagher (Divan) laid down drums, and over a few hectic days in
a Wexford studio, the record came together.
An album of songs about love and isolation, depression and recovery, The Murmur of the
Land ties everything together around a central question: what do people do when faced with
something love, loss, fear they can’t understand? And what stories do they tell to make
sense of it all?
Weaving religious imagery with folk tales and rural isolation, these nine songs move from
weird folk (The Old Sound) to achingly catchy synthpop (Penny Sweets) via the album’s
standout: a warped reworking of Winter Aid’s Spotify hit that stitches its delicate melody to
synthesizers and towering guitars (Wisp).
The Murmur of the Land is out April 28th.