Winter is Samira Winter a prolific songwriter whose next album, What Kind of Blue Are You?, comes out October 14, 2022 on Bar/None Records. The album was produced by Joo Joo Ashworth, brother of Sasami Ashworth. It features Sasami as well as Hatchie. The album brings a new tone to Winter. It is filled with themes of love, loss, desire and depression. Winter is described as dreampop and shoegaze. What Kind of Blue Are You? comes blazing into rock supplemented by Winter’s ethereal vocals.
Winter releases the single “Sunday” yesterday.
“sunday” is a fever dream meditation on social media toxicity, a topic she says is “always on my mind and generates a lot of fear and anxiety for me. It’s a critique on social media’s effect on mental health and contorted beauty standards for women.”
Winter will be touring in October and November.
Oct 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon #
Oct 28 – Chicago, IL @ Hideout #
Oct 29 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s *
Oct 30 – Toronto, ON @ Drake Underground #
Oct 31 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo #
Nov 1 – Boston, MA @ Lilypad #
Nov 3 – Washington, DC @ Comet Ping Pong #
Nov 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right #
Nov 5 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ukie Club #
# support from Peel Dream Magazine
* supporting Panchiko
FEMMUSIC was honored to e-mail with Winter about the new album.
FEMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making What Kind of Blue Are You?
SW: After we recorded the album, I felt really torn on how to move forward with the mixing process. It was important to me to retain the “tapeyness” and lo-fi quality of the original recordings but I also felt that it needed to be a fuller sound to really hit the spot for me. I took some space from listening to the songs and kept my eyes open for a mixing engineer. Some months passed till I serendipitously met Omar Yakar who ended up being the perfect engineer for the record and made both of those worlds meet.
FEMMUSIC: I just took a look at the producers you’ve worked with over time. There are very few repeats. Why did you choose Joo Joo Ashworth to produce this album? How did you meet? What were you looking for in a producer this time?
SW: At the time, I was craving making a pure shoegazey record and Joo Joo is someone I’ve always bonded with musically in that specific way. He was actually one of the first people I met when I moved to LA in 2014. I was looking to record in an environment that felt like a safe space for ideas, experimentation and vulnerability. He’s a really empowering and respectful person to work with and just gets it musically.
FEMMUSIC: In 2020 we e-mailed about Endless Space and you had an interesting answer about your songwriting technique:
What kind of vibe we’re you looking for with this album?
SM: Gazey and diy!
FEMMUSIC: Tell me about “Write It Out.” How did that song develop? It’s one of my favorites on the album.
SW: Oh nice! That’s the first song we recorded actually and it really set the tone for the rest of the record. That song came out of me during a lunch break from my barista job at the time. My intent was to write a song to bring it to my co-worker to work on together and I wanted it to be kind of Starflyer 59. Once it started coming out of me I realized it was a Winter song and finished it that day. I’m really into journaling as a form of conversing with myself and figuring things out so to me that song is about that process.
FEMMUSIC: You singles “Atonement” and “Good” have already been released. Both of these songs are collaborations. I was curious about some of the “nitty gritty” on how the collaborations came about. With each song, did you all decide it would be good for the collaboration, or did Harriette or Sasami pick from a list, or some other method to decide which songs to join you on? What are your expectations for a collaboration?
SW: With “Atonement” I had been corresponding with Joe Agius from Hatchie on song ideas over the pandemic and I sent him an instrumental demo which then him and Harriette came back with lyric and melodic ideas. So that was co-written and worked on with all three of us corresponding via email since they are from Australia. With “good” it was really casual, we had most of the song recorded but felt like it was still missing something important. Sasami came into the studio one afternoon and tracked layered vocal melody’s which was exactly what song needed.
FEMMUSIC: The album has some strong themes including love, desire and depression. Since this album was done during COVID, how were you coping?
SW: Well that’s the thing is that all of these feelings came up viscerally through me during that time. The pandemic was the backdrop of writing and recording the album so it had a major impact on the whole process. I think in some ways I channeled the collective emotional narrative but for the most part they were written from a personal perspective. I felt depressed, raw, in-love, angry, sad – I was cracked open by the circumstances, realities shattered, and first time experiences.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
SW: I’d take away the expectations of physical appearance and sexuality for women artists.
FEMMUSIC: As a woman in the industry, how have you been discriminated against? What tools do you use to fight it?
SW: I think everyday as someone who isn’t a white man you experience discrimination in some way and it’s hard to truly separate what’s the industry and what’s the overall patriarchy we are all living under. Most of my experiences of sexism on tour come from interacting with sound guys and feeling like my voice isn’t being heard or I’m not respected. Something that’s happened to me in the PR/journalism world specifically in Brazil and Spanish speaking countries is being a called a singer when someone who does exactly what I do but is a man would be called an artist. I guess I’m still figuring out the “tools” but I’ve become better at confrontation and being assertive with my needs.
FEMMUSIC: What song, not your own, has had the biggest influence on you, and why?
SW: “Saltwater” by Beach House is a really important song to me and to Winter – it gives me that spinning feeling of nostalgia-beauty-sadness all at once.
FEMMUSIC: What artist, not on the album, did you discover that you think everyone should know?
SW: Everyone should listen to the song “Sweat Forever” by Lily Konigsberg
Today, Winter has announced her new album What Kind of Blue Are You?, due out October 14th on cult indie label Bar/None Records (Yo La Tengo, Ivy).
Along with the news, Winter has shared lead single “atonement”, a rhythm centric banger buoyed by a tightly wound breakbeat and soaring chorus.
The track features Hatchie’s Harriette Pilbeam & Joe Agius, Winter will tour the West Coast with Peel Dream Magazine, and have announced LA & NYC releases shows.
On the single, Winter says “Every time I hear this song a new version of the story plays out in my head – an escape, a mystery, a forbidden love. By the time it reaches full climax there is a big reveal – the secret is out, the we discover who committed the crime, the two lovers find each other.” On the collaboration, Pilbeam says the track “really wrote itself and was a lot of fun to make.” Agius adds, “The concept for the video immediately came to mind when working on the song together. The dark and talkative verses contrasting with the bubbly hopeful choruses really conveyed the kinda energy I wanted to translate”
Over the course of the pandemic, Samira decamped to Studio 22 in L.A. with producer Joo Joo Ashworth (Automatic, Dummy, SASAMI) where the pair spent the many months of harsh uncertainty sharpening her songs into a fine point. “I felt like I was making music in a dark cave with an old friend and no one else existed,” Samira says of the process. Within that place of separation from the outside world, she was able to venture into the core of Winter, imbuing every musical choice with a confident intentionality, and newfound vulnerability. Whereas 2020’s Endless Space (Between You and I) was steeped in fairytale surrealism and springlike grace, What Kind of Blue Are You? is crystalline and spartan, songs stripped to their inner blue core – Winter’s smoldering shadow self.
Aug 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Braindead Studios, Genghis Cohen