The Wilderness of Manitoba

When You Left the Fire

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Canadian folk quintet the Wilderness of Manitoba lives up to its name on its debut album, When You Left the Fire. Using banjo as the dominant instrument, the group builds folk and folk-rock arrangements to support the harmony vocals gently singing whimsical, rustic lyrics that lean heavily on nature imagery, much of referring to watery, if not frozen scenes. The singers concern themselves with issues of family and commitment, and they reflect on contemplative, philosophical matters. "All's well that ends well," they conclude in "Summer Fires," but acknowledge, "I don't know what it's all for" in "White Water." This is music for long winter nights, waiting and hoping for spring to come.

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