The Winterlings, a folk duo living near Edmonds, celebrates the release of its second album, “You Are Acres,” at Fremont Abbey on Friday, Jan. 15.
Contained within each of us is an untold wilderness as vast as any of the forests that drew Wolff Bowden and Amanda Birdsall to the Pacific Northwest eight years ago. That’s the concept Bowden and Birdsall, performing as The Winterlings, explore on their sophomore album, “You Are Acres.”
The Winterlings will celebrate the release of their album Friday, Jan. 15, at the Fremont Abbey in a show headlined by Seattle’s Maldives and with a band from Alaska called Harm.
“There’s an invisible world that most people don’t pay attention to, and I think that’s the main problem with the state of our mental health in America, if not the whole world,” Bowden said. “People are so focused on that exterior — on money, on fame. If you go into that interior world, into that invisible, hidden world, it’s a very rewarding space to explore.”
The Maldives, The Winterlings, Harm
8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave. N., Seattle; $9-$13 (206-414-8325 or fremontabbey.org).
Filled with imagery pulled from the absurdly gorgeous region we live in, “You Are Acres” is the product of The Winterlings’ introspection, addressing everything from moving on from death to the sacrifices it takes to make it as a full-time artist.
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“It was a process of our life,” Bowden said of the album coming together. “I couldn’t play music when we came to Oregon eight years ago. We started to grow together very, very slowly. She was already like a redwood tree in music, and I was a pine cone seed.”
That growth continued as the couple moved north five years ago, finally settling down in the Edmonds area.
“We wanted to be in Seattle, but man, it’s so expensive,” Bowden said. “So many musicians are moving out because it’s too much. ”
They released their first album, “The Animal Groom,” with Bowden eventually mastering a unique setup in which he plays a bass drum and a snare drum with his feet while strumming guitar and singing. Birdsall adds everything else, from guitar to violin.
Their multitasking allows The Winterlings to create a full sound, even though they’re rarely joined by other musicians when they tour.
That sound is on display from the start of “You Are Acres” with the appropriately titled “Opening Line,” which includes these striking words: “At first light my sister is hugging her daughter who just learned that death is for certain/and still they are laughing as cedars breathe out and we all breathe in.”
That sums up the ethos of The Winterlings perfectly. We struggle for clarity and understanding, to be at peace with ourselves and the world in which we live, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, the acres within us don’t seem so scary.