Next Level : The Pop Winds

13 Aug

To be honest, Montreal’s The Pop Winds initially caught our attention because their synth/drum machine/samples guy, Kyle Bennett, has a very trendy haircut. But then we looked again, and we realized that there is a saxophone player (?!) in this trio. And although they do not have any saxophone parts reminiscent of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” their Animal Collective-esque sound is worth pausing for.

Devon Welsh (guitar) and Austin Milne (saxophone) were roommates at McGill, and Bennett grew up with Welsh in Uxebridge, Ontario. The Pop Winds officially formed in April 2009, not long after Bennett matriculated into Concordia University’s electro-acoustics program.

According to their EP released in September, Understory, and their debut full-length album released in April on Arbutus Records, The Turquoise, Bennett is applying his studies of the compositional breakdown of sound as if he was being marked for it. And in the words of Nicki Minaj in her rap, “Itty Bitty Piggy,” this might make them “the baddest in the school, the baddest in the game;” where, yes, “baddest” is synonymous for “the most ridiculously awesome.”

And speaking of rappers, Canadian Cadence Weapon praised them for having “a unique band arrangement… that sounds unappealing on paper but coalesces nicely live and on record” in an article for The Mark News in December.

Another idea that perhaps does not sound so good on paper, yet The Pop Winds have implemented it anyways, is giving away whole EPs and albums for free (at least digitally). You can download the Understory EP here and The Turquoise album here.

In April, Welsh explained to Lookout, “We sort of had to do this. After a certain point, it’s going to be easier and more effective to get people to hear your music if you give it to them for free… A couple weeks after an album comes out, it’s everywhere on the Internet. It seems like the natural thing to do.”
Well, after hearing their poppy tune “Feel It,” we totally would have bought the album regardless, but we thank them for their generosity nonetheless.

The Pop Winds is playing at the Tiger Bar in Toronto on Wednesday, August 25th as part of their month-long cross-Canada tour.

Posted by : Melissa Kim


One Response to “Next Level : The Pop Winds”


  1. Dirtbag Awards : Melissa Kim’s Top 10 New Bands/Artist of 2010 Pt. 1 « Dirtbag Journalism - September 20, 2010

    […] The Pop Winds( You already know why I love these […]

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