While the bodega across the street blares Mariah Carey at all hours, naturally one’s mind wanders to the true meaning of Yuletide: trees. In Druidic lore, the yew tree guards the spirits of the dead in preparation for rebirth. Its berries, like those of the mighty holly bush, are likened to drops of blood in the snow, representing the sacred life force. The mighty Scots pine tree points the way to the Winter Solstice; and the beloved kissing agent Mistletoe guards the threshold as we enter a new cycle in the ever-turning wheel of eternal life.

In short, ‘all I want for Christmas is Yew.’

Our pagan-flavoured friends Ghosts of Torrez wish to reclaim this traditional Spirit of Winter by haunting us with a hypnotic new instrumental offering: “Winter” from their forthcoming LP ‘The Pump House of Broken Dreams.’

“With the musical world gearing up for the holiday season by releasing songs of hope, love, and joy, we have decided that this would be the perfect time to release a six-minute, sonic blast of eerie sounds and overdriven guitars, in the hope that it usurps Mariah Carey from the topper-most, popper-most charts,” says the band, who scoff at the “pop minions claiming Winter as the true representation of the Yule season.”

Gauntlet thrown! Huzzah!

Not for the faint of heart, this epic sonic blast of noise from the Hertfordshire (UK) based band clocks in at six minutes: turn on, tune in and drop out to their unique flavour of psychedelic post-punk. Oh…and skulls. Lots and lots and lots of skulls. Taking their lead from Sigur Rós and Mogwai, these “prog goths” Ghosts of Torrez craft soft, cinematic wonderments, mixing the stylings of Celtic folk, psychedelia, and indie dissonance.

In the visualizer for this rolling, shoegaze-y track, the spirits of the dead guarded by the aforementioned yew are in perpetual cycles, rotating between winter and summer themes: a hot orange for a while, then a cool blue. As Yule was traditionally a time for rest and reflection, why not trip out to this hypnotic memento mori?  Raise your flagon of mead (or chalice of wassail) to the spirits of the departed, as Winter Solstice approaches this week.

…Perhaps Ghosts of Torrez will get that chart-topping blessing from the Cailleach herself.

Winter is out now on all streaming platforms via Prank Monkey Records.

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