An esoteric, exotic indie pop project masterminded by Brandon Bethancourt, Alaska in Winter formed in the early 2000s in Santa Fe, NM. The name has its origins in a semester Bethencourt spent in Alaska, where he started recording music in a remote cabin. He returned to New Mexico, teamed up with various indie rock types, including Beirut's Zach Condon, A Hack and a Hacksaw's Heather Trost, and violist Rosina Roybal (who had performed in the Kanye West symphony), and fleshed out his Alaskan recordings. His spacy, atmospheric first album, Dance Party in the Balkans (which, as its name implied, harnessed a kind of wild, Eastern European flavor), was released on U.K.'s Regular Beat in 2007.
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