Today is a sombre day for JUNO-nominated and Toronto based band, The Wilderness of Manitoba. They release Farewell To Cathedral on Popguru Sound & Vision, their first album following a three year hiatus, but also face heartbreak with the sudden passing of their bandmate, brother, and drummer, Adam Balsam.
“We are heartbroken by the sudden loss of our bandmate and brother, Adam Balsam. Since joining the band in 2018, Adam has been a constant source of enthusiasm, boundless creativity and encyclopedic music knowledge. He was a truly gifted and deeply musical multi-instrumentalist whose playing was filled with passion and love.
Today is a bittersweet day because we are releasing Farewell to Cathedral, and Adam is not here to celebrate with us. He worked hard on the album and was so excited to share this music with everyone. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his family, and we are dedicating this release to his memory.
Adam’s contribution to the band’s growth is immeasurable and he is sorely missed. We love you, Adam.”
Farewell To Cathedral is available to purchase and stream now, and you can listen to it here. In addition, today the band shares the standout track, The Well Has Run Dry. Listen here and watch its live acoustic rendition. The Wilderness of Manitoba will also be airing a live stream digital concert (Adam’s final performance with the band) on Saturday, November 6, as a part of The Popguru Revue – an engaging new live event series streamed for free from Revolution Recording in Toronto. You can watch the weekly event series here and learn more in this recent announcement.
“Farewell To Cathedral is about leaving your safe space in order to grow and move forward,” says Will Whitwham, singer, songwriter and founding member. “It deals with the oblivion and uncertainty while remaining hopeful and melancholic. The themes centre around seasonal change and the parallel passing of time in its reflection.”
The album was recorded in just two days at Revolution Recording in Toronto, which was completely unprecedented. In the past, Whitwham felt he laboured over a lot of the sonic details, often adding overdub after overdub. But for this album, the songs were captured at their most live and purest stage. The results show that, at the end of the day, the quality of the songs is not necessarily contingent on the recording process. This can be heard in the already released singles, The Alchemist, Sometimes and Oblivion.
On Farewell To Cathedral, Will adds: “There was this beautiful Ukrainian cathedral I would always see from my window. The cathedral became a symbol to me of something I was leaving behind when I decided to move out of that house. It was the longest place I’d lived in my entire life and leaving was hard in some ways. The cathedral was a symbol of a safe place that I was constantly able to return to and I think that we all need some kind of version of that; whether it’s tangible, literal or metaphorical. Many of the album’s songs deal with loss through the eyes of hope and I’ve always believed in the hope one can find through melancholy. Farewell To Cathedral is about leaving your safe place in order to move forward and grow.”