NPR logo Love, Humor and a Sly Sucker-Punch

Love, Humor and a Sly Sucker-Punch


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The Long Winters' members craft songs that range from exuberant to wistful to somber. hide caption

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  • Song: "Hindsight"
  • Artist: The Long Winters
  • CD: Putting the Days to Bed
  • Genre: Pop-Rock

With a versatile, seemingly R.E.M.-inspired mixture of catchy melodies, lush harmonies and lazy organs and horns, The Long Winters' members craft delightfully clever, shimmering pop. Few of the group's songs stray from topics revolving around love gone wrong, but singer-songwriter John Roderick rarely takes the expected road.

The easygoing manner and country twang of "Hindsight" helps disguise its heavy subject matter, with an assist from Roderick's sly non-sequiturs. Singing without a smirk — even on lines like "If you're my anchor / then I'm throwing you over the side" — he crafts a tale with moments of love and humor, circling around snippets of conversations and the tender details that haunt the air for days.

In one moment, Roderick is a master storyteller, as he successfully captures the subtlest nuances. In the next, he's an old-fashioned confidence man, smoothly doling out surprises before serving up a sucker-punch finale. Any given Long Winters song might range from exuberant to wistful to somber — or even, in the case of "Hindsight," even all three at once.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Putting the Days to Bed

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The Long Winters

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