Windings: “At the time of writing the album, things were gone a bit askew in the world”

by James Hendicott

Limerick rockers Windings have been on a particularly raucous Irish circuit for some time, but they refuse to stand still. Latest album ‘Focus On The Past 5’ is their latest evolution, a product of the band’s progression, but also of their broader context, and Irish society itself.

“At the time of writing the songs for the album, things were gone a bit askew in the world,” they say. “This was pre-pandemic, as we had this album written by late 2019 and ready to record for Summer 2020. This didn’t work out, of course. But that time was a heady time of turbulence, unrest, and righteousness. There was a feeling in the air that we were almost at some tipping point, I felt. This feeling is reflected in these songs. One of the songs, ‘This Is Fine’ was initially called ‘Rampant Disease’ until the start of 2020, which we then changed for obvious reasons.”

“It’s fair to say that this album represents the most collaborative effort of the band so far. All songwriting was shared, and there are even other members taking lead vocal duties on a couple of songs. This is new for us. We’re not really happy to stay in the same place as musicians. I mean, we’ll still probably be playing guitars, bass, drums and keys, but we don’t allow ourselves to do the same thing twice in terms of releasing new work. That makes us uninterested, and if we’re uninterested then our music will be uninteresting to play, and also to listen to.”

“Collaboration is very important in this band, as making music with other people is what we do,” they continue. “Pa has King Pallas, which has myself and Brian in it, as well as Jean Wallace and Marty (Anna’s Anchor). That’s Pa’s baby, and we just try to make the songs sound the best we can doing what we do. As individuals, we’ve worked in various capacities with Murli, Denise Chaila, Naive Ted, Powpig, Anna’s Anchor and more. Every collaborative project is a new door.  We’re musicians, we should be making music, otherwise what else is there?”

One particular collaborator Windings single out is Daniel Fox, a member of Gilla Band (until recently known as Girl Band), a collaborative star who is fast becoming a Dublin music scene icon.

“He’s class,” Windings say. “We recorded ‘This Is Fine’ and ‘Busy Mind’ with him in late 2019 with a view to doing an album with him shortly thereafter. We’re men of a certain age who are very used to doing things a certain way in the studio. We tend to gravitate towards producers and engineers who are musicians themselves, and who we respect and admire in that capacity first and foremost. So, he got us and our certain ways almost immediately. We did our thing, and then watched him make it sound the way we heard it in our heads. He was really great to work with, and a gent.”

The result, as has become a theme for Windings, is another knowing evolution in sound. After the new record, unsurprisingly, there’s no telling what the future holds. “Leonard Cohen said “I’ve seen the future brother, it is murder”. I love the drama of this, but I’m also aware that the future is, at the very least, daunting right now, that’s about the one thing I can say about the future with any degree of certainty.”

Focus On The Past 5 by Windings is out now.

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