Late last year, Canadian rockers The Trews launched a PledgeMusic campaign to fund their next album. Contrary to popular crowd funding site Kickstarter, PledgeMusic is more about artists building connections with their fans by basically offering pre-orders and fancy special packages. The Trews’ campaign was particularly inventive in this regard, offering unusual goodies like Guest list for life, private performances and games of street hockey with the band! (That’s so Canadian) As tempting as that was, I simply went for an autographed CD to add to my collection. A digital download accompanied the release to tide me over until my package arrived.
One of the pitfalls of pre-ordering an album is that you’re paying for a product that you have no idea how it sounds. Had the band decided to release their first free form experimental jazz album (Jazz Odyssey anyone?), I might have been in for a disappointment. Luckily, initial previews showed the band sticking to their own sound. Less luckily, I was fairly unimpressed at first listen. I must at this point admit my initial expectations were quite high, as I hold The Trews in high regard. They’re my favourite band of the new century for sure, and some of the best live performers I’ve ever seen.
On second listen, the album started to click with me, and I must say that it gets better on every subsequent play. The album has a more subdued feel than the rest of their discography but their songwriting is stronger than ever, and songs like Age of Miracles, 65 Roses or Under the Sun can stand with the best songs in their repertoire. The album maybe lacks a really uptempo song, but it has a great cohesive feel with no filler at all. Can’t wait to hear the new material live!
You can stream the album for free on the CBC website: http://music.cbc.ca/play/artist/The-Trews/album/The-Trews-2014 You can also check out their website at http://www.thetrewsmusic.com/
The official video for What’s Fair is Fair can be seen here: