The Wilderness Of Manitoba

Canada is secretly conspiring to take over the United States in the Folk/Americana music category. The Wilderness of Manitoba are a chamber folk quintet from Toronto comprised of multi-instrumentalist and vocalists.  We fell in love with the band’s latest album, When You Left The Fire, with its lush ambiance and warm four-part harmonies. Their communal approach to song craft layers in textures of lap steel, cello, banjo, and harmonica into a haunting and sparse folk sound.

If this is your first introduction to The Wilderness of Manitoba, don’t plan to turn it up midway through your next house party. They are best digested in isolation, free from interruptions. Perhaps in your home library where you can sit comfortably in your favorite cardigan sweater with patches on the elbows and enjoy a glass of brandy and pipe filled with fine tobacco. The band is wrapping up tour dates at The Philadelphia Folk Festival and then to the Northwest for stops in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle.

The Wilderness of Manitoba Band Introduction

Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – St. Petersburg

Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – Hermit

Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba -Native Tongue

Exclusive: The Wilderness of Manitoba – Orono Park

Download The Wilderness of Manitoba Live Session as a zip file.

Video: Wilderness of Manitoba – Hermit (Live at Shirk Music+ Sound in Chicago)


Whew. Sorry for the long delay in HearYa activity, but we just migrated to a new hosting provider after a couple hellish months with GoDaddy. As I waited for the migration to happen, I looked through a long list of albums and bands that we had planned to discuss and The Wilderness of Manitoba jumped to the forefront with the release of a new EP called Summer Fires and a single called “Orono Park.” We were huge fans of their album When You Left The Fire and “Orono Park” floored me when I first heard it.  It’s a perfect summer evening tune that starts off with plucking strings before the soaring harmonies kick in. The pace quickens with the introduction of percussion and the song bounces out of melancholy into a modest celebration.

The band is from Toronto and recently booked a show in Chicago at The Beauty Bar on 5/19. It’ll be FREE, so there’s really no excuse for not going.  They will also be stopping in at Shirk Music + Sound for a HearYa Live Session.

The Wilderness of Manitoba – Orono Park

Video: The Wilderness of Manitoba – Orono Park



First up was The Rural Alberta Advantage and now we’re on to The Wilderness of Manitoba. Next up is the Wacky Saskatchewan Disaster in our study of each Canadian province. Anyway, The Wilderness of Manitoba have delivered an EP of stripped down folk that relies on gorgeous three and four piece harmonies to grab your attention. Most of the tunes don’t move faster than a snail’s pace, allowing a slightly plucked banjo to lead the way. What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in substance.

One of the standout tunes is “Crow’s Feet,” a song that reminds me of something I would hear on an album by The Low Anthem. Melissa from the band described the song as such: “Crow’s Feet is about growing old and not ever really appreciating love until it’s too late.”

“Evening” is another great track‚  that was written by the mother of lead singer, Will Whitwham, in the 60s. And while I have never heard the original, this version comes off as a poignant tribute to his mom.

If you enjoy bands like Megafaun, Fleet Foxes, Frontier Ruckus and Horse Feathers, you’ll enjoy spinning this splendid EP.

The Wilderness Of Manitoba – Crows Feet

The Wilderness Of Manitoba – Evening