Mild Winter – Postcards & Letters

Mild Winter – Postcards & Letters

Mild Winter – Postcards & Letters

When all of the interest in hurtful relationships is gone, there will still be the amazing sight of a loving couple to witness. We often forget just how beautiful the bond between soul mates really is and although some of us are gray-hearted, bitter individuals, you can’t hold back that triumphant occurrence. And Ben and Melanie Schlabach’s music is a fully rewarding action to experience.

With the help of hushed drummer, Nicklaus Combs, Mild Winter’s Postcards & Letters is a folk-driven, acoustic guitar and banjo-loving beauty. It’s been almost a year since its release and it feels unjustly wrong that it’s seen little to no exposure. Self-released by the band in a tidy, homely package, this is the kind of music that you live for: where the musicians’ heart and soul are pouring into the music and in turn, into your chamber of hearts.

What started as an activity the couple would partake in during date nights; their sing-song approach has found a home within the trio’s comforting music. “One More Night” is the epitome of everything that’s blessed on Postcards & Letters. Practically singing to each other, the Schlabach’s melting voices are capered by a sweetly tuned and expressed violin. But above all, it’s the pickling banjo—cutesy and all—that lovingly puts everyone to rest.

Like a folksier The Dutchess and the Duke, it’s easy to tell who the stars of the show are; but getting caught up in the moment withstanding, there is an equally shared force between the three musicians. Where each plays an integral role, it’s their chemistry that makes this ramshackle mess of an idea work. At first, there are songs that come across as underdone compositions, before a careful ear notices the subtle greatness at hand. And even when it’s undeniably hard to tell, it’s anyone’s guess at what exactly was going on when this was made.

Prepared during a timid winter where the weather allowed for days and nights of outside playing, rather than tending to production needs, the band focus their attention on the quality of music they’re writing and performing. Whether it’s the honky-tonk, accordion-billed “Knights,” the rollicking, bursting-at-the-seams roll of “Back to Bethlehem,” or even the quietly string-layered, love song, “August Storm,” the plan was to make each sound distinctively unique and uniformly robust. It’s ever more apparent on the title track, where the music drives at a paced tempo before installing an increased speed. Never losing their propulsion, the song is easily vigilant.

With an honest conviction and a willing attempt to brace the outer weather, the band’s strength comes by way of their use of traditional instrumentation in the most peculiar way. On some songs, rather than employing the banjo for the fast-driven instrument it is, they choose to layer the song with laboring arpeggios. And sometimes, when the music’s calling for maybe a hint of snare, the sticks are never raised nearly enough to scare a mouse. In the wake of a time when music feels harshly repetitive, Mild Winter channel their inner influences.

There’s a genuine touch to the music, as if this trio of musicians is whispering sweet nothings into your ear and your ear only. Their website states that they’ll play at your bar, back-yard or bedroom and though I’m tempted to take them up on their offer. But in the meantime, I’ll let the beautiful folk linings of Postcards & Letters lull me to sleep.

“Prophet of Nothing” by Mild Winter