Acoustic folk-jazz duo Winterlark are a modern-day George Burns and Gracie Allen. The couple’s mischievous, telepathic banter is almost vintage vaudeville. An invitation to a Winterlark experience is a special offer, filled with songs crafted in the tradition of the Great American Songbook and zested with zingers of the day.
It’s hard to imagine bassist/vocalist/songwriter Kristin Olson and guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Sweeney E. Schragg offstage. Perpetually “on,” we imagine the adorable couple cracking jokes and writing songs around the clock. “We don’t have a TV, so we just play music at night,” Sweeney claims. Kristin cracks up: “Some people do crossword puzzles.”
The Santa Cruz-based duo are a proud byproduct of their musically eclectic surroundings. Though they remain students of all songwriting traditions and eras, Winterlark landed on a house-style musicianship that blends literate folk lyrics; playful bossa nova rhythms; and touches of vintage soul with the harmonic, melodic and improvisational traditions of jazz. by Jazziz, Imperfect Fifth and Two Story Melody. Winterlark is affiliated with Squink Records.
Now the duo take off with a new EP, In Walked Winterlark, titled as a playful nod to classic naming conventions such as Thelonious Monk’s In Walked Bud and The Beatles’ With The Beatles. The first single from the new 6-song release will be the sassy, Walking This Away.
Walking This Away is an elegant folk-jazz composition with an unexpected choice of chords, an imaginative key change, a lyrical bass solo, a dazzling guitar solo and a witty repartee that epitomizes the brand. Thematically, the song details an innocuous lovers’ quarrel where, to ease the tension, both parties take illuminating walks. The playful banter in the song came out organically, and the banter is quick and flowing. Here’s a little excerpt: “(He) Back so soon? (She) I didn’t know it was a race. (He) Yeah, pretty lousy conditions for a race. (She) I know, your hair is all wet. (He) Someone took my hat! (She) I like this hat. (He) And someone forgot to lock the kitchen door. (She) But I have the key! ” “Everything is G-rated,” Kristin points out. “Nothing was thrown away.”
“Walking This Way” will be released on April 15 and can be streamed through their website.
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