Far from your token guitar pop group, Montreal’s Winona Forever mix funk, R&B, and jazz into their infectious rock songs–often adorning their cool grooves with trumpet licks and saxophone solos. Vibrant west coast energy meets an unpretentious east coast cool with these boys. Initially conceived as a straight-ahead power pop group, Winona Forever formed as high school students in Vancouver, where several of their songs and music videos were recorded and produced (and yes, the band name was partially inspired by the infamous Johnny Depp tattoo).
Winona Forever bassist Isaiah Dobbs leads the hip-hop/R&B project Schwey with keyboard player Jacob Schwinghammer and other members of Winona Forever. Some of these outside influences inevitably make their way back to the band, even if it’s through a certain attitude or a particular vibe. You can hear it on Winona Forever’s most recent singl “5alive,” a swaggering, deceptively robust two-minute jam.
Ben Robertson usually sings lead vocals for the band, but on “5alive” Rowan Webster-Shaw lends his voice to the exuberant pop rock production. With nearly four years under their belts, the band are now experts at tweaking the Winona Forever formula in search of something new. But Winona Forever are truly on a path to greatness with this new single.
Watch the music video for “5alive,” directed by Lester Lyons-Hookham, below.
Peep the videos for Winona Forever’s “Heads or Tails” and “Keep Cool”.
Stream Winona Forever’s debut LP, this is fine.