The cover art for Winter Sun depicts our singer, close up and out of focus, seemingly lying down and being enveloped in the incoming tide. This album – a folky, sunburnt, fuzzy collection of strikingly direct odes to various objects of Hinton’s affection – does what it says on the box.
Primary among these objects is the natural surrounds of the shore. The drowning of ‘sorrows in the sea’ and dreams of ‘rainclouds and thunderstorms’ on Quench combine with a mourning, a feeling that whomever he’s lost can now only be found amongst the rocks and waves. This reflects a theme felt on practically every track, particularly To Absent Friends and the exquisite collaboration with Kim Stolen that closes proceedings, Footprints With The Tide.
Sometimes the lyrics can cross from direct to just plain obvious, and there are limitations to Hinton’s Reedy, Josh Pyke-influenced vocals. But the album maintains a bustling, scrappy energy, an unpretentious enthusiasm, which makes Hinton’s sandy haired company a reliable pleasure.