SongVault Artist Profile
Washington, United States
Indie Rock / Indie Pop
An ARTic Circle is the debut album by Washington state's Oldman Winter lead by Alaska native Bret Phillips. Phillips may have relocated to the slightly warmer climate of Bainbridge Island, WA, but the wintery landscape stuck with him.
The album incorporates layers of musical texture which enhance Phillips' stark, impressionistic view of day to day experiences. With an everyman perspective akin to Paul Westerberg and a voice best compared to Eric Bachmann (Archers of Loaf, Crooked Fingers) or Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Phillips radiates a vibe of latent aggression submerged under a surface of playful lyrical twists and melodic hooks. The sound, at times, seems to pull from the Southeastern US sounds of Chapel Hill, NC or the horn-laden Elephant 6 bands, but despite all the indie-rock undercurrent, Oldman Winter constructs anthemic rock intended for the top-40 radio of an ideal world.
Recorded and mixed by Phillips at his studio Wax Poetic, the 2007 recording sessions utilized the talents of longtime friend and drummer Dirk Jewitt, bassist Patrick Nelson, and guitarist Riley Plumb. Originally titled "An Arctic Circle", the album title took a turn after cover art was commissioned from San Franciscan painter Pete Doolittle, who mistakenly dropped a "c" from "Arctic". Doolittle's misspelling was kismet it seems, as the adjusted title (artic) proved to underscore the driving force in Phillips work... "the human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature".