For You, Now
Barbersound · February 17, 2023
Boston local bedroom rock group Winkler are showing a lot of promise with their debut album, For You, Now. The band, which had been gaining traction with a steady release of singles over the past few years (most notably 2022’s “Mona”), have finally released their first full length, and it pushes their 60’s/70’s influenced lo-fi rock sound to even higher points than they’ve reached in the past. It’s a surprisingly solid release from a band of their size, and at this stage in their career.
The album begins with “City Rain,” a song with bright, summery-sounding, jangle pop-influenced guitar instrumentation. The vocals’ mixing complements the rest of the instruments incredibly well – the low-fidelity equipment makes sure they’re crisp, but not overpowering. This production carries over into tracks like “Nothing But Time (if you want it)” and “Call it Good Times,” both of which have really intriguing sections of vocal harmonies between the lead and background that are very beautiful. The former track, a slow and relaxed cut, also incorporates some very Belle and Sebastian-esque flutes and woodwind toward the latter half of the song, exuding a very innocent-sounding, youthful energy. Winkler is by no means a one trick pony, however. They incorporate a lot of sonic variation throughout the album. “Sarah and the Moon” is an emotionally poignant piano ballad with an infectious riff that ends off with some rather dramatic violins while also leaning into some sounds more associated with psychedelic music – it’s a very interesting combination of sounds. “Jellyfish” almost sounds like a song from the early 2000s garage rock era, albeit with more dream-like, reverb heavy production.
If there is one criticism to levy against Winkler, it’s that at times, they wear their influences on their sleeve. It is obvious at points where they take elements of their sound from, not to a distracting point, but to where at times it does sound like they’re still trying to find their own voice amongst the Beach Boys, Strokes, and Jack Stauber tracks that they took inspiration from. That being said, they at least fuse these influences together in a novel way, and there’s never a point where anything on the album sounds overtly unoriginal. Of course, this all makes sense for a band so early in their career, and is definitely something that can be brushed under the rug when their output is otherwise so inventive and genuinely fun to listen to. For You, Now is a very worthwhile listen from a band that one can only hope gains more popularity as time goes on. It shows a surprising amount of artistic integrity and especially in production skill for a debut record, and it will be extremely exciting to see how this band continues to evolve their musical style on subsequent releases.
where would you say the Strokes influence is?