Winona Forever
Photo: Matthew Okuda

Vancouver band Winona Forever are known for their indie rock riffs and pop sensibilities, creating a sound that is fun, light, and compelling. They’ve just released their latest single, Pen Pal”, so we caught up with the band to chat about the song, their upcoming album, and the weirdest show they’ve played thus far.

From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Pen Pal”.

Winona Forever: ‘Pen Pal’ speaks to the fleeting friendships made while travelling as a touring band. We’re often meeting really awesome people on the road, and you wish the conversation could last just a little longer. Sonically, we were keen to keep some “frantic guitar song” energy on an Acrobat, which otherwise has a number of mid tempo tunes based around piano or Wurlitzer. These days it’s one we really enjoy playing live, although it took 2 years or more to happen!

FTS: What can fans expect from your upcoming album, Acrobat?

Winona Forever: Acrobat is a collection of songs that runs the gambit. Bouncy piano, frantic guitars, slow paced romance each take centre stage in this collaboration, a series of recordings that brought some purpose to a period of lockdown in Montreal. We drew inspiration from 70’s pop records and home recording techniques and it’s hopefully a record people would put on in the car or while cooking in the kitchen.

FTS: What are some Canadian bands you’ve been listening to lately?

Winona Forever: Louie Short, Kylie V, Jaywood, Andy Shauf, Peach Pit, Shania Twain

FTS: What was the coolest (and/or weirdest) live show you’ve ever played?

Winona Forever: One time someone shat themselves in the audience of a show we were playing. That was weird. We encouraged people to leave. I hope that person is doing okay.

FTS: All artists (save for the exceptionally lucky ones) experience writer’s block from time to time. How do you battle through a block when songwriting?

Winona Forever: One go-to technique that has been employed by the band is to write every day – for a couple of weeks or until things start to feel different. Something like that can really break the spell of feeling like your next idea HAS to be good. Sometimes those ideas you build on in a short period of time end up being worthwhile! For our next record we’ve tried more of a songwriting club, where three of us will sit down in the morning to write together. That is really fun and different from writing alone, in an interesting way!

FTS: What are some of the band’s non-musical hobbies?

Winona Forever: The band has been known to play an extremely casual game of frisbee, but we also really love antique malls. Obviously touring is a moment where we are collectively deciding how to spend our free time and antique malls were a common stop on recent tours. Not that we can necessarily afford the price of trinkets, nor the space in the van, but we find some waaaaacky stuff.


Check out “Pen Pal”, the new single from Winona Forever!

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