There is something instantly anthemic about We Swore We'd See the Sunrise, the new album from Vancouver-based roots rockers, The Matinée. Leaning heavily on a nostalgic southern rock aesthetic, with choruses that are upfront and feel immediately recognizable, the largely upbeat tracks don't waste time planting themselves in your head.
Opening with the Tom Petty-esque track “Young and Lazy”, which would not sound out of place on a classic rock radio station, the album bursts forth with toe-tapping tracks that beg to be heard on a prairie road trip with the windows rolled down. The driving beat of the follow-up “L'Absinthe” takes us faster and further down the Trans-Canada. But it's the fat beats and the rolling feel of the stadium-friendly track “The Road” that probably best sum up the endless highway sensibilities of this album. With the Matinée's reputation as tireless road warriors, the hardtop highway feel of We Swore We'd See the Sunrise feels like an organic evolution that is now embedded directly into the band's musical DNA.
They're not all road tunes, though. Deeper into the album, the songs become darker and more introspective. “Who Stoned the Roses” veers off the country-rock path and strikes off into Wilco territory, with an experimental sound hinged on instrumental breakdowns. “December Slumber” is soaked in weeping pedal steel and honey-dripping harmony. The standout track on We Swore We'd See the Sunrise is the sweetly melancholic “The Sinking of the Greenhill Park”, a beautifully sad lament that wraps the listener in wistful heartache.
The Matinée has already garnered a loyal following with crowd-friendly live performances and a tireless work ethic of near constant touring. Besides the more usual clubs and bars, the six-piece band has played armed forces bases, prisons and the Vancouver Olympics. With the release of the radio-friendly We Swore We'd See the Sunrise, The Matinée are sure to find an even wider audience for this collection of contagious tunes.