Photo by Jeff Leeds Cohn
Samira Winter is the front women of LA-based dream pop group Winter. She was raised in Curitiba, Brazil and spent her youth listening to a mix of her parents’ favorite music – American punk music and Brazilian popular music. Currently, she recently released Winter’s album Ethereality and has been on tour with Surfer Blood and Speedy Ortiz. We sat down with Samira to discuss the new album, being on the road, and more!
Substream: You’ve been writing songs since you were 12 – How has your writing process evolved over time, and since releasing your first album?
Samira Winter: My songwriting has definitely gone through a path of evolution. I have a lot of fun when I’m writing and try to really hone in on the vibe and melodies I want to sing. The first record “Supreme Blue Dream” was written through a Song-A-Day project. Our second record that’s coming out April 6th, “Ethereality” were songs collected over time and arranged with my band. The process will always be different in every record- which is exciting to me!
S: Let’s talk about “High School.” The song is beautifully relatable with a strong message. What inspired the song, and what do you hope listeners get from the lyrics?
W: The song is about being a teenager and wanting to please people around you. I remember feeling like I had to blend in with everyone else. The biggest message is to stand up for who you are and what you believe.
S: I love the retro vibe of the video! How did the vision for the video come to life? How do you feel this represents “High School” and the album?
W: The vision of the video was mainly from the director Peter Ferris Rosati. First, we filmed the classroom part and then earlier this year we developed the VHS storyline. I’m such a sucker for VHS! I love the aesthetic and was really excited to include that element in the video. The video has a light and family-friendly feel which was fun to make since I none of our other music videos have that appeal. The album ranges from sunshiney songs like “High School” to more heavier ones.
S: The album artwork is lovely – how did you find an image to perfectly capture the mood of the album?
W: The art was made by the Brazilian artist Beatriz Perini. We were talking about how we wanted the theme of the eternal girl and a version of space that was pink and orange. So she worked with a lot of different textures and made that collage that became the album art!
S: What does the word “ethereality” represent for you?
W: “Ethereality” represents a feeling of bliss mixed with nostalgia. It’s seeing the world through a child’s eyes. It’s experiencing all of the magic in our reality.
S: How does this album vary from what you’ve released in the past?
W: I would say it has a very “band” feel since a lot of it was recorded live in a studio. Also it has way more of a Weezer influence than anything else I’ve released and in general more of an “indie rock” vibe.
S: What do you hope listeners get out of this album? What did this album mean for you while writing it?
W: I genuinely hope listeners enjoy it and have memorable moments to the songs. When I was writing the songs I wasn’t necessarily thinking they’d be on the album. I was thinking of songs I’d wanna play with my band and also writing songs inspired by things that were happening in my life; friendships, falling in love, my cat Zoey.
S: Is there a particular track on the record that you’re especially fond of? If so, which and why?
W: I really like “Sunshine Devine”. I like the dynamics of the song in how heavy it is at times and then how soft it becomes. A lot of my favorite songs play with the soft/heavy combo.
S: What are you feeling leading up to the release of your second full-length album?
W: It honestly feels very rewarding to put it out. It’s been some time since it’s been done and in my hands and now I’m glad to release out into the world!
S: How was the crowd reaction to these songs during your recent shows in Mexico? Were those shows drastically different from shows you’ve played elsewhere?
W: The crowd in Mexico was extra passionate. They sung a long to “High School” and “Jaded” and were overall so enthusiastic about the band. People were always asking us if we needed anything and getting us food. It was a very loving experience with our fans in Mexico.
S: What do you plan to do differently with this upcoming tour with Surfer Blood? What are you looking forward to most about this run?
W: Well we’ll being playing a new set with a lot of the songs that are on the record. We’ll also have all of the “Ethereality” merchandise on the road as well as a re-issue of our first record and a 7” of Memoria Colorida and Wherever You Are singles.
Be sure to catch WINTER’s upcoming tour dates with Speedy Ortiz here!