Winterbourne — Echo of Youth
by Emily Brower
Winterbourne, the Australian-based indie-rock duo, has just released their long-awaited 12-track debut album, Echo of Youth. Members James Draper and Jordan Brady combine their talents to create a culmination of sounds that can only be described as ’60s nostalgia draped with a layer of love-struck harmonies.
The pair — along with producer Andy Mak and a talented team of sound engineers — recorded Echo of Youth over a six-month period in a far-removed studio of Byron Bay. Each individual track was recorded live from start to finish, giving the album a naturally distressed energy that holds true to Winterbourne’s simplistic sound.
Opening the album with “Revolutionary, Man,” you are immediately transported to another realm. The combination of calming guitar strums and heavenly vocals are reminiscent of the Woodstock generation, but the incorporation of synth-pop undertones gives the track its own modern sound.
After high school, Draper and Brady amassed a local following by busking at Pitt St Mall in Sydney, and throughout Echo of Youth, this unmistakable style shines throughout, giving Winterbourne the distinct sound that has led to their early success. Winterbourne has previously released two enriching EPs — All But The Sun (2014) and Pendulum (2016). As the pair has gained notoriety, they have begun playing larger venues across the country and even sold out their first show in London.
The second track off of Echo of Youth, “Better,” has a similar vibe to the upbeat sound of “Shape” off of their Pendulum EP, but cultivates a more bubblegum brit-pop tone. The lighthearted keyboard beat entwined throughout the song continues to juxtapose the analytical lyrics that touch upon the cultural pressures surrounding the new social media generation.
“Once the chorus hits, you feel like you should be dancing with your sleep-deprived friends at 2 a.m. to the end credits of a coming-of-age movie.”
Similarly to “Better,” “Take The Golden” and “Too Many” were both initially released as acoustic singles with a stripped-down sound, but by incorporating more guitar, drums, and harmonies, the album versions of “Take The Golden” and “Too Many” are given increasing layers of complexity that were previously missing.
“Puzzle” starts off with an almost dragging beat, but once the chorus hits, you feel like you should be dancing with your sleep-deprived friends at 2 a.m. to the end credits of a coming-of-age movie. The lyrics “I want to fall / fly / ‘cause I’d rather be the puzzle than the missing piece,” make you want to experience love in a way that allows you to feel complete.
Throughout Echo of Youth, Draper and Brady have managed to hold true to their previous sound, while also experimenting with increased synth and heavy pop influences. By connecting with their fans and creating a sound that is exploratory yet consistent, Winterbourne has been able to cultivate a fanbase that has supported them since the beginning, and the pair continue to gain unwavering support worldwide.
“Makes you wish that you were in the middle of falling for someone
who has the ability to change your entire outlook on life.”
Keeping true to their usual Simon and Garfunkel-influenced sound, “Colourblind” provides a chorus that makes you wish that you were in the middle of falling for someone who has the ability to change your entire outlook on life. The lyrics “I am colorblind / and everything is color here tonight / but I see your eyes / and I just want to be there when the lightning strikes,” provide a feeling of nostalgia for experiences you’ve never even had.
The entirety of Echo of Youth gives off a raw and natural alternative rock sound and the track “Echo of Youth” captures the entire vibe of the album in just under six minutes. The combination of soft vocals and a sultry bass line perfectly captures the idea that navigating through life can be anxiety-riddled and stressful, but acknowledges that when you’re young, that’s what life is like, and it’s perfectly fine.
Echo of Youth is an awe-inspiring debut album and an exciting continuation to Winterbourne’s discography. It can be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, and other music streaming sites.