Winter Aid – aka Shane Culloty – releases a new single, The Night is an Ocean, his first release since 2013’s slow-burner online hit The Wisp Sings (8 million streams and counting). A delicate rumination on sadness and solace, the song hints at a gentle progression from simple songcraft to more intense sounds – a change in full force on upcoming debut The Murmur of the Land.
Produced by Darragh Nolan (Sacred Animals), the song blends the delicate melodies of earlier material with a newfound confidence, hinting at the expansiveness of the new album. The video was directed by Aneel Neupane of Kathmandu’s Jazz Productions, and was filmed in the stunning wilds of Gosaikunda in Nepal, its storyline perfectly matching the song in imagination and emotion.
Says Winter Aid: “This song came out of a few difficult weeks, and I think you can hear that. There’s a lot in there about how you can be stuck with what’s in your own head, and how someone else can get you past it. The lyrics swing wildly between homespun and overwrought scenes, but in the end all is calm and as it should be.”
This is the first single shared from the forthcoming debut. An album of songs about love and isolation, depression and recovery, The Murmur of the Land ties everything together around a central question: what do people do when faced with something – love, loss, fear – they can’t understand? And what stories do they tell to make sense of it all?
Weaving religious imagery with folk tales and rural isolation, its nine songs move from weird folk (The Old Sound) to achingly catchy synthpop (Penny Sweets) via the album’s standout: a warped reworking of Winter Aid’s Spotify hit that stitches its delicate melody to synthesizers and towering guitars (Wisp).
The Murmur of the Land is out April 28th.