Winkler is an alternative band from the Boston area (which is in fact the proper term for the entirety of Massachusetts). I have been following them since the release of their fourth single, “Here Comes Henry!” in late 2020. They are, if my opinion can be trusted (and it can), one of the best bands in the world right now. At present, they have just over 12,000 monthly Spotify listeners.
I am the opposite of a gatekeeper. I am a Winkler evangelist. I am going door to door, handing out pamphlets.
In February of this year, Winkler released their debut album, For You, Now. I’ll admit that it’s the only album I listened to all the way this year, but (and I’m about to exaggerate here, but not as much as you might think) if this album was the only music in the world, we’d probably be alright.
For You, Now has eight songs. Each and every one of them is individual and perfect. I’ll tell you about a few of my favorites.
The album’s second track is “Nothing But Time (if you want it)”. Even though it comes early in the lineup, it’s got the feeling of being closer. It’s driven mainly by an acoustic guitar and a beautiful, serene vocal melody. But behind the guitar, there’s a whole world of strings, backing vocals, and ambient noise that make it all feel huge and comforting, something like floating in the ocean on a sunny day.
“Sarah and the Moon” is the album’s longest track and without a doubt one of the most memorable. It opens with a sweet piano melody before it launches into soft, dreamy rock that glides along with syrupy slide guitars and percussion before building into a massive, messy, but beautifully melodic climax of choirlike vocals and low, careening strings. There’s something in here that reminds me of old 1950’s crooners, but lovingly recontextualized.
Near the end comes “JELLYFISH”. Thin, clattering drums and a clumsy guitar riff underscore the catchy vocal before the drums crash and a score of cooing vocals drift on into the mix. The second half of the song is spent wandering, with various instruments soloing beneath a repeated vocal motif.
Anyways, though, my favorite song of theirs is still their eponymous debut single. I don’t know what it is about this song, but I love it and I will never get sick of it. It’s one of their simplest songs, but it’s perfect.
Please, for the sake of your health and happiness, listen to For You, Now. Winkler’s sound is so unique but, at the same time, so listenable and easy to get into. I cannot prove this, but I believe that if you play Winkler’s music through a speaker, it will improve the air quality of the surrounding area. I may be wrong, but I do believe that, somehow, streaming Winkler will make your skin clearer and potentially help the climate crisis. Do not quote me on this. But do listen to Winkler as soon as possible.