To stumble is to almost make a mistake, to fall towards the wrong direction but save yourself just before it’s too late. In Stumbler’s Business, the new album by The Lowest Pair’s Kendl Winter, potential mistakes become moments of learning and growth. Musically the album is full of atmospheric banjo strumming which creates a dreamy folk sound.
On opening track The River’s Will, Winter’s voice quivers with uncertainty and emotional intensity. Such strange currencies define her vocals throughout the album, making her music have a distinctive landscape of its own. This is a reworking of a song which originally appeared on an album by The Lowest Pair, and this new version creates such a different, more urgent feel it is almost unrecognisable.
One of the central themes of the album is introduced in the next song Solitude. This one sounds has an infectious indie folk sound, with its repeated ‘oohs’. Later in the album the song ‘Alone and I’ takes a similarly positive view of how making friends with loneliness can help you find yourself again.
The Artesian Well explores how we can all find ourselves stuck in vicious circles in life and love. Musically this is one of the most immediate and melodic songs on the album. Beauty We Beg similarly has a gorgeous feel, using the banjo to beautiful effect.
The traditional English folk ballad Pretty Saro was once recorded by Bob Dylan and tells a sad dream of lost love. Nebraska has a similar style and eerie sound.
The final few songs on the album explore lost love. On ‘Rise and Fall’ she asks repeatedly ‘how am I to breathe now?’, unsure of how to go on. When She Did tries to cling to those sweet moments of love before things fell apart. Memories of a ex are a comforting presence on I See it Differently. Sometimes you don’t want to escape the past.
The title track begins with the sound of far away chatter, as if to show the world going on regardless of what personal problems you deal with in life. Relationships are difficult dance, but there is a hint of optimism in the lyrics suggesting maybe this time love will win.
Kendl Winter has recorded an album which is bewitching from the first to last breath. Listen to Stumbler’s Business and you will surely fall for this unique musical talent.