Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Record Review from web archive January 14, 2009


Central Chambers (Signature Sounds/Soft Alarm)

The two-part harmonies of Philip Price and Flora Reed are gentle and hushed. On Winterpills albums, you get the sense the duo is singing in a cramped apartment, trying to keep the volume down so they don’t agitate cranky neighbors or a roommate nursing a migraine. At the same time, though, those muted vocals are weighty and potent, haunting the lyrical dreamscape songs that Price has the knack to engrave directly onto listeners’ eardrums, usually on the initial spin.

Throughout Winterpills’ third release, Central Chambers, these gorgeous harmonies show something new: They are the perfect delivery mechanism for dense, ponderous songs that examine mortality and imagine what comes next. On “Take Away The Words”, Price and Reed sing more typical harmonies over the first two verses; then Price floats up to a falsetto, and Reed levitates airily above that. Though it lasts for just a few lines, the effect is mesmerizing and otherworldly. Elsewhere, the short, seemingly innocent opening track “Everything” could have fit snugly onto the Once soundtrack. Its bookend, the closing elegy “Immortal”, with Reed’s voice accompanied only by a sustain-saturated piano and scratchy vinyl sounds, is eerily beautiful.

Overall, Central Chambers is more nuanced and layered than Winterpills’ past efforts. Instruments appear suddenly and depart similarly. One constant is the inventive yet perfectly restrained drumming and percussion from Dave Hower. His feel for what is called for at each shadowy turn is grounding. And with this collection of movingly dusky songs, grounding is a welcome complement.

Winterpills also apparently are pretty funny folks: “The Iraqi shoe-throwing incident at Bush’s last press conference there is lovingly recreated, starring Winterpills own Brian Akey, with a cameo by Philip Price, and photographed by Kate Bradley.”

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108


Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »

From the Blogs

  • Lake Street Dive Motorboats into the Big Time
    The usual pleasantries open the interview with Lake Street Dive's singer extraordinaire, Rachael Price. There’s a mention of a shared acquaintance and a nod to the band's previous appearances in town, the first before a tiny crowd at Norfolk's Taphouse in 2011. "Oh, I recall," Price says. "That was a very memorable show." I […]
  • No Depression Is Getting a Facelift: A Note About What's Around the Bend
    Ever since we announced that No Depression had been acquired by FreshGrass back in March, we’ve heard from many of you with questions, concerns, and ideas about the future of this website and the community that gathers here. We created a forum topic at that time so we could organize these comments and refer to them frequently, which we have done as we’ve dev […]
  • A Preview: Pt. Reyes’ Far West Fest Is a Huge Model for Pint-sized Festivals
    For the last six years, my husband Dave and I have been involved in a funky little homegrown festival called the Far West Fest in Pt. Reyes Station, Calif. For us, it’s a great way to get back to our theatrical roots while helping to support live music. We have stage-managed at least one of the three stages and been involved in set-up,… […]
  • Freight Train Boogie Show #263 featuring The Duhks, Seth Walker, Jacob Thomas Jr, Amy Lavere and The Felice Brothers
    FTB Show #263 features the new album by The Duhks called Beyond the Blue. Also new music from Jacob Thomas Jr, Amy Lavere and The Felice Brothers.  Here's the direct link to listen now! Show #263… […]
  • Jeff Crosby & The Refugees - All Nighter (Album Review)
    “Stop Runnin,” the first track, launches in with a very Tom-Petty-esque guitar part. Shortly after, Crosby’s gruff vocal hits it and I am listening. You got me, Jeff. Full band, rock and roll. Its good. The second track has a little bit of a Swinging Steaks feel to me, with the lead line of the electric guitar. I like the Steaks, this again, is good and I am […]
  • Eric Clapton - Unplugged, 2CD+DVD (Album Review)
    Here’s a slightly unusual candidate for reissue: Eric Clapton‘s 1992 Unplugged album. To my knowledge, this massively commercially successful album has never gone out of print, which begs the question: why reissue it? To be fair, this 2014 reissue does include some bonus material. But first, let’s take a look at the original… […]

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!

Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter