A&E » Music

The Matinée ready new album

Hear cuts from the Vancouver band's forthcoming record at Howe Sound Brew Pub Friday.



If Vancouver roots-rock outfit, The Matinée, could scrounge up enough cash, they'd be slinging pints at a band-owned bar called Young and Lazy.

"Our lead singer is Matt Layzell and his nickname is Lazy. Our bass player's name is Mike Young," said Matt Rose, the group's guitarist, explaining the origins of the imaginary watering hole. "We thought it'd be a good name and we could open a bar and that could be what we invest in outside of music."

When the band mentioned this in passing to Steve Bays, frontman for Vancouver indie pop act Hot Hot Heat, during a songwriting session, he was immediately struck by the name.

"'That needs to be the title of a song,'" Rose recalled him saying. "'That needs to find its way in there.' So we ended up sitting down and writing a song with him, literally about that: enjoying your time when you're young."

Voilà! The first single from their forthcoming sophomore LP was born. Rose said the track hints at Bays' pop background with an upbeat vibe and catchy chorus ready-made for the airwaves. But don't worry: the group hasn't strayed far from the signature alt-country sound that earned them third place (along with $50,000) in the Peak Performance Project last year.

"We're still capturing this roots-rock kind of vibe," Rose said. "That's what's most comfortable for us."

Although the competition boosted their profile — and landed them a deal with Light Organ Records, the indie rock imprint of 604, a label co-founded by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger — it also slowed down the recording process.

"We've been technically signed for a year," Rose said. "It's literally been that long trying to get an album together."

They haven't exactly been rushing it, though. Spending some of the Peak scratch on a songwriting trip to Galiano Island then travelling to Portland to suss out the producing chops of Los Lobos member Steve Berlin, whom their manager recommended, also ate up time, but proved to be well worth it.

"It was a good fit from the get go," Rose said of Berlin, who has also produced albums for The Tragically Hip and Crash Test Dummies. "He kind of forced us to step outside of our box a little bit with some more rock-y things, just trying new instrumentations and arrangements and stuff."

Lyrically, the songs — largely penned over the last year, with the exception of some older tracks that the band re-recorded — were inspired by the grind of the road.

"There are great parts about it, but it's also hard being away from the people you care about back home," Rose explained. "We haven't finalized the album name yet, but we're leaning towards We Swore We'd See the Sunrise, which is a lyric from one of the songs on the record.

"[It's] the idea that there's a light at the end of the tunnel, that we're going to keep working until we see that light. We're waiting for the payoff, which hopefully is coming soon."

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

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