Trapped Mice – Winter Sun
Winter Sun starts with An Ending: a two-minute instrumental in which plaintive accordion wheezes over traffic noise and sirens, conjuring an enticing air of mystery. It’s an evocative introduction, demonstrating that even without Ian Tilling’s studiedly poetic lyrics, Trapped Mice spin stories with skill.
For the remainder of the band’s full length debut, Tilling’s passionate vocals are an upfront focal point, and his words prove extremely effective (Hermit Point and The Devil Wandered In in particular; awkward spoken-word piece Cameraman, less so). In terms of audible influences, Okkervil River continue to cast a pronounced shadow over the Edinburgh five-piece; a flattering comparison but one which exposes the occasional thinness of Winter Sun’s lo-fi production.
While the home-recording perhaps undersells some of their music’s finer qualities, it can’t detract from the overall confidence with which they present themselves, best represented by ambitious centrepiece Quiet Place; a multi-part expedition with considerable impact. [Chris Buckle]