The Great Detachment by Wintersleep

“Perennial with the Earth/And freedom, love, and law, and life”—from the song “Amerika” by Wintersleep

The Great Detachment is the sixth album released by Canadian band Wintersleep, and it delivers a mature yet fresh approach to indie rock. The album was recorded live off the floor in the studio, meaning that most of the instruments were played at the same time, giving the recording a special energy despite limiting the types of sounds that could be created. Extensive preparation is evident through the intriguing riffs, sounds, and combinations composed for this album.

The title track from the album is called “Amerika,” a song that attempts to connect with the hope for America that Walt Whitman captures in his 19th-century poem entitled America. Ideas around what America was, is, and hopes to be have become greatly contested within the United States itself. 

This Canadian band gives an ambiguous outsiders’ view toward one of the most powerful countries of the world. Whether this outside perspective breeds hope for or critique of America within the listener is dependent on personal experiences and emotions that the listener carries. Some may see the song as an anthem of hope, while others question what commentary the band hopes to offer about the current state of America by releasing this song first on the Wall Street Journal website. 

Other excellent tracks on this album include “Santa Fe,” which surprises the listener with a computer-effected voice, and “Spirit,” a work that delivers hope despite lyrics that only hint at momentary satisfaction: “Living for the day because everybody dies.” Some of the ballads and slower tracks on this album aren’t as captivating.  

Though overt spirituality isn’t explored on this album, the musical creativity, aesthetic beauty, and social commentary makes this album a helpful piece of culture for Christians to engage. (Dine Alone Music)

About the Author

Micah van Dijk works at Redeemer University College, planning students events that facilitate an engaged campus culture.  He also speaks in classes and youth groups regarding faith and popular music.