PLAYING DETROIT: Double Winter Announces 7-inch and New LP

COLUMNS|Playing Detroit

Since last year’s EP Watching Eye, psychedelic doo-wop rock outfit Double Winter has been relatively silent – but that doesn’t mean they’ve been still. Lead vocalist and bassist Holly Johnson says the band has been hard at work, writing and recording enough material for a 7-inch and full album release. While Johnson couldn’t give an exact date, she says all the songs are mastered and ready to go, so it’s only a matter of artwork and time.

Based on the band’s unconventional tastes and writing style, the record will not be a run of the mill  “indie rock” album. In fact, Johnson says she prefers to describe Double Winter’s music based on the band’s unique tastes rather than in terms of a single genre. “We’re all coming from very different places musically, but we all very much appreciate each other’s favorite genres – even if it might not be our own.” Some of these genres include Motown, doo-wop, psychedelic rock, funk and avant-garde.

While the band members’ musical backgrounds differ, geographically they are all from the same area – Detroit. Johnson met Vittorio Vettraino (lead guitar) and Augusta Morrison (electric violin) while in school at Michigan State University. While in East Lansing, Vettraino and Johnson were in a garage-rock outfit called Half Bodies, where Johnson’s love affair with the bass first began. “I always connected with the instrument and I really like writing – I was writing poetry well before I even picked up the bass,” says Johnson. “I wanted to combine the two and just kind of went with it.”

Shortly after moving to Detroit in 2014, Morrison and Johnson connected with drummer, Morgan McPeak, and Double Winter was formed, with Vettraino joining the trio shortly after. Since then, the band’s genre-bending sound has garnered the attention and admiration of many, including the Detroit label Palm Tapes, which put out Watching Eye digitally and on cassette. As far as who will be releasing their full-length album, Johnson says they are still shopping around. “Ideally, we put out a full length and get signed to a label and see what happens from there.” 

Johnson says that the band uses their eclectic music tastes as a gateway to creating their own. “Most recently Vittorio brought this incredible Italian waltzy disco song to us,” says Johnson. “And we were all like ‘woah this is amazing… let’s interpret it.’” How does one interpret an Italian disco waltz? You’ll have to see the group live to find out.

While no music has been officially released since Watching Eye, the band has been previewing their new songs at local shows in Detroit. For those lucky enough to reside in the 313, you can get your own sneak peak on November 22nd at Trixie’s Bar in Hamtramck, or on December 21st at the third annual Double Winter Solstice at Outer Limits.

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