The title of the tuneful new album from the indie pop-rockers The Wilderness of Manitoba is Across the Dark, a reference to the long, lonely stretches of roads that connect tour venues across the country. The band is the project of lead vocalist and songwriter Will Whitwham, who shared with The Globe and Mail the things that make his touring life more bearable.
What's he's reading: "I just finished Where I'm Calling From, a short story by Raymond Carver. He's a master of creating that perfect balance between nostalgia and melancholy. His writing style almost takes on the feel of a slow-moving film scene, always combining the perfect blend of both loss and hope within a realist aesthetic, while the short stories themselves are like songs."
What he's tuned into: "Democracy Now! If there's any place I can turn to get the actual facts and alternative news from both independent and international sources, it's Amy Goodman and the War and Peace Report."
What he's been listening to: "The Brooklyn-based dream-pop band Uni Ika Ai and their most recent album Keeping a Golden Bullseye in the Corner of My Mind, for its great production and sense of atmosphere. In particular, I'm struck by their song Wrinkle Away and its long, drawn-out sentiment settling in at a little over eight minutes. Maybe it's Maia Friedman's voice coupled with that time of year, but the slow-burn songs always get to me."
The Wilderness of Manitoba plays Toronto's The Garrison on Sept. 20 and Hamilton's Mill's Hardware on Sept. 21, with 15 Canadian dates to follow. thewildernessofmanitoba.com.