The atmospheric, decadently stylish electronic pop of Winona is the brainchild of a couple of Scotsmen, Scott Fraser and Craig Armstrong, the latter an acclaimed and award-winning film composer, perhaps best known for his work with director Baz Luhrmann. Also a producer and string arranger for the likes of Massive Attack, Madonna, U2, and the Pet Shop Boys, Armstrong has released a number of albums under his own name. After collaborating on various projects over the years, and batting around the idea of making an album by combining their collections of vintage synthesizers, the pair began working together in 2006, meeting up for a series of improvisational Friday afternoon sessions in a Glasgow recording studio. Although the initial concept was to do an instrumental electronic album, they eventually enlisted Manx-born, London-based singer/songwriter Lucy Pullin (who also happened to be Armstrong's manager) and French actress Laurence Ashley (whom Armstrong met while working on Luc Bresson's film Kiss of the Dragon) to contribute vocals to several of the tracks. Following a 12" release of the trip-hop-styled vocal track "Without You" and a 2007 tour (as a quartet) of European and Brazilian music festivals, the design-heavy and inescapably cinematic full-length Rosebud appeared in 2008, self-released on Armstrong's Annalog imprint.
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