(Make Me A) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 106: The Declining Winter

The Declining Winter

The Declining Winter started out as the meanderings of Richard Vincent Adams, a musical project to keep him occupied whilst his band, Hood, was on hiatus (they’re still on prolonged hiatus, apparently). In 2008 their first 7″ The Future Sound of Hip Hop parts 1 and 2 was released, together with a bonus CD of remixes by Epic 45, Remote Viewer, Part Timer and Northstation and their first album, Goodbye, Minnesota came out on Ireland’s Rusted Rail Record. The next Declining Winter record was entitled Haunt the Upper Hallways and appeared on Home Assembly Music in 2009. In 2010 the band released their Official World Cup Theme 2010 again on Home Assembly Music and Scenes from the Back Bedroom Window, a very limited 3″ CDr release on Secret Furry Hole. In 2013 Fragment 5, a 10″ record a was released. The cassette only Lost Songs came out on the same year. 2015 was a busy year for The Declining Winter: they released Home For Lost Souls (Home Assembly), Endless Scenery (Sounds in Silence) and a split 12″ with Isnaj Dui on Rural Colours. Three years later the band released Belmont Slope. Recordings Of Weird Air, a collection of songs recorded onto iPad in late summer/autumn 2020 by Adams alone, was out in 2021, again on cassette only. Really Early ,Really Late, the first proper album since 2018, will be out March 31st and, believe us, it’s magnificent.

What Richard says: “This started out as absolutely nothing, a few random guitar notes… it then slowly became something else completely. The main take home from it all is how difficult it is to mix a saxophone. First it’s too loud, then too quiet, then too loud, then too quiet etc. The track was pieced together in the way I’d imagine Talk Talk did.. picking parts from mountains of audio. It was a real collaborative experience with Matthew Jones-Green (piano) and Robin Smith (saxophone) providing all the best bits.

I’m still not totally satisfied with this. I’ve definitely in the past continued to work on tracks long after they’ve been released. A completely pointless exercise but it keeps me out of trouble. It’s a song about trying to get a message out to someone you are no longer in touch with. Sort of shouting out into thin air  …Metronomy’s ‘The Upsetter’ does the same thing in a much more pleasant fashion. ” 

His Mixtape:

Bed – The Wood Bunch 

I copied the entire structure and sound of ‘Really Early, Really Late’ off this so maybe I shouldn’t have included it to avoid being found out. I could try for a thousand years though and not get close. Everything about it is perfect and that end section could go on forever and I’d not get bored of it.


Van Morrison – Sweet Thing

I had a weird near religious experience listening to this whilst running up Baildon Moor near my home. As I ran upwards towards the summit, I sort of thought I was ascending to heaven. It was weird. As is my love for Van Morrison… the sort of artist I begged my dad to turn off when I was a child in favour of Depeche Mode. Later on it clicked, I just love the improvised nature of it… the drummer brings a tremendous beat in at 2.48 then seemingly within ten seconds changes his mind… or more likely Van tells him off.  

Very Secretary – Sharp Dressers

I’d been looking for this for ages, I got it into my head that they were linked to American Football for some reason so that sent me down a cul-de-sac that I struggled to get out of. Anyway it’s here. It’s like a baroque Elliott Smith. They go off on a mad Gastr Del Sol type tangent half way through and they never really come home… but it’s all worth it.

Shayne Carter And Peter Jefferies – Randolph’s Going Home 

This terrified me as a teenager. My brother had got way into the New Zealand scene (Xpressway and Flying Nun) and this was one of the songs we both agreed on. He was into the more noise aspect (The Dead C etc), me the pop bit (The Chills) but this has elements of both. Guitar chords have never been so dramatic and the subject matter? Well you just don’t want to know.

Wall Of Voodoo – Factory

I’m sort of on a one man mission to prove that at one point Wall of Voodoo were the best band on the planet. This is off their superb 1982 album ‘Call of the West’ which was probably their commercial high water mark… but has music ever been more inventive or unique? Who does it sound like? The easy answer is absolutely no-one. All the musicians are good but in the guitar hero status Marc Moreland is tragically underrated. I can listen to the later bad Wall Of Voodoo tracks purely because he’s always doing something interesting… oh and that hair!

Bark Psychosis – Scum

As a young adult I once walked up to the local park on a Friday evening and listened to this in its entirety on my walkman before walking home again. That was all that was needed then for a good night out and probably still is.

Really Early, Really Late will be out March 31st. Look HERE for more information on The Declining Winter.  


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