Josef Prygodzicz and Faye Gibson (Winter Villians), as I have just discovered, are a duo that are receiving a lot of critical acclaim at present.

This can be a disastrous warning sign, as I have lost count of the times that a band has had superlatives thrown at them and on listening, all the hype is unjustified and you are left wondering if you have missed something completely.

I have to admit to being in a sceptical frame of mind whilst I gave WV’s second album release, Once There Were Sparks, Now There Are Ashes a play. Maybe I shouldn’t be such an old cynic, as the second track ‘Empire’ knocked me sideways on first listen.

WV deal in heavy atmospherics and shifting moods and utilize them perfection. For a second album OTWSNTAA is a glorious achievement and one that will stand the test of time.

‘We’re Stuck With The Beauty’ is a stand out track on the album. Off kilter piano melodies shower the listener with lush drops of musical elegance. Think a darker stripped down Sigur Ros with ethereal vocals and you get a hint at what WV are about.

Once There Were Sparks, Now There Are Ashes is full of great classical instrumentation, and is also punctuated perfectly with dashes of sublime musical technology. Josef Prygodzicz and Faye Gibson have created one of 2015’s most exciting and original releases so far and all that is left to say is, do believe the hype.

More tour dates to be added soon.

15 – Phipps NBC, Northampton
16 – Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
22 – St Paul’s Church, Cambridge
23 – Union Chapel, London

18 – Harbour Festival, Bristol
20 – Irregular Folk, Midsummer’s Weekend Festival, Oxford


Words: Nick Vivid
Photo: Polly Thomas