Written by Danielle Dzioba.

a0871975612_10The Written Years’ band members, Wade Ouellet (vocals, guitar), Kane Enders (drums) and Brian Dyck (bass), have created an evocative, solidly constructed EP following the release of their full length self-titled album in January 2014. It seems serendipitous that they describe themselves as “winter music”. After all, winter is upon us, so what better way to enjoy a gathering with friends than to put this number on replay and hunker down for a beautifully moody listening experience?

The EP, entitled It’s Not Your Fault, launches itself with a title track that takes the listener on a heady meander through grey cold days and what it means to be displaced and missing something. It evokes something of fellow great Vancouver indie band, The New Pornographers, with its upbeat, bouncy rhythm and backing harmonies.

The sense of a gradual build is a prevalent musical theme throughout the album. Each track, such as “The Station”, begins with minimal accompaniment, drawing the listener in to the dream-like world that The Written Years have created, and, at its end, grows to a swelling cacophony of sound in the best possible way. The lyrics of the acoustic song, “Awful Love”, reference a “lullaby” of sorts perfectly encompassing this atmospheric song. It gradually builds, bit by bit, the guitar playing a simple arpeggio throughout and lead singer Wade Oullet’s melancholic voice carrying it in the sweetest of ways, ending with a delicious dissonant fade out.

The last track, a remix of “Homesick Dirge” by The Bullet Proof Legs, is a standout. Its departure from the original version of the track changes the sonic landscape and contrasts with the rest of the EP. Pared down and urged forward by a gritty driving synth, the vocals float somewhere dreamily overhead, slightly reminiscent of Kraftwerk’s “The Hall of Mirrors” or Goldfrapp’s “Utopia” while still managing to maintain its alt-rock vibe. This track alone is reason enough to listen to the extended single of It’s Not Your Fault. 

If the incentive of good music isn’t enough (but it should be – it really should!) then hear this: the EP is not only a steal of a deal, but all proceeds are going to be donated to, an organisation dedicated to putting a stop to gender inequality for girls, and, an initiative to stop violence against women. Reason enough to get this winter music in your mitts!