Earlier this year, NJ-based band Winona Ryder re-emerged as Whiner and settled into their new skin popping up on a ton of basement/DIY bills all over the tri-state. All the while, the group prepped the release of their debut LP, Forever, which dropped a few days after the bag-of-dogshit-lit-on-fire presidential election of 2016.
It was timely in that a lot of the themes at play on Forever deal in a certain kind of romanticism that comes with utterly exhausting yourself in examining things beyond your control. The moody alt-pop and post-punk atmospheres beautifully set up Cameron J. Castan’s explorations of distant memories and relationships as well as personal insecurities through a modern lens. True loves are met on Tinder dates and mothers are implored not to let their sons grow up to be fuckboys. There’s really no accounting for how all of the things, technological and otherwise, we have at our disposal now have influenced the way we develop emotional depth, but Forever takes some affecting stabs at it.
I’ve had Forever open in my tabs for a few weeks now, and I’ve kept returning to it as the days get shorter and the wistful, longing nights get longer. It’s a good friend to have in these weird times, one who has been “there” and isn’t afraid to tell you how it really feels.
Congrats to Whiner on crafting a complete album that new sonic roads to explore on every track without straying too far from a central jumping off point. Stream Forever below and catch Whiner at Muchmore’s on January 13th.