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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Alternative




"Shane Currey and Trees"

This is a great episode to prepare us for the New Year, we have Shane Currey, a financial planner with Currey Insurance come on to talk about financial changes in 2013 and great planning tips. Music from Trees, an upcoming Ottawa band as well! - Lunch out Loud

"Review: Trees - Catzenatica"

Ottawa is buzzing with new bands making new sounds, and Trees are one that jumped out at me as being different from the rest of the pack. Their new album Catzenatica really pushes the envelope, bringing a refreshing sound and unique approach to songwriting. Not only that, but the album sounds great – it is very well produced and achieves an aura that one can get lost in.

Although Catzenatica is experimental, it is still really accessible – even those who may not be as receptive to this kind of musical approach will appreciate how the album was put together. From the outset, opening track “Mild Jamaican” starts as a whirlwind of eerie sounding vocals, effects and instrumental noises. This really piques the interest of the listener, because one normally expects to determine how an album will “feel” once they start listening to it. However, in my experience, the best albums are the ones that leave you guessing as they unravel, never fully allowing for the listener to get too comfortable with the overall product. Lead singer Jonathan Matthews’ dynamic vocals are on par with those of Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks, breaking any notion of standard lyrical phrasing and testing the limits of of his voice. From low to high to falsetto, the intricacy and originality in his voice is really well-suited for the type of music his band is making.

Tress obviously has a myriad of influences, merging styles and approaches to songwriting in one album. They create a dreamy, reverb-driven soundscape that echoes with beautiful guitar tones and flowing bass lines. The percussion is unique and guides the unconventional direction of the album, but it doesn’t overpower or drown out the delicate sounds of the guitars. This is often a very fine balance, because experimenting can often lead to getting carried away with one instrument over another. But this is not the case on Catzenatica, as a near perfect concoction of instrumentation, effects, and melody is achieved throughout the record. The layers of sound really stand out, and helps to create the overall ambience the band was going for in the recording.

Perhaps beginning as a three-piece instrumental band without a lead vocalist did them a lot of good, since there is a very clear emphasis on achieving a distinct sound from the instruments. Of course, the addition of Jonathan completes the package and makes Trees more accessible to a wider audience, but I think developing a strong sonic/instrumental basis first really helped the band hone their talents and overall sound they were striving to achieve. - Ottawa Showbox

"Introducing Trees"

You may not yet heard of Trees, but I believe they are one Ottawa band worth checking out. I recently had a chance to sit down with the guys and find out a little more about them and find out what they have in store for 2013.

Trees originally started out as a 3 piece with Alex Johnstone and brothers Alex and Andrew Gelok. Looking to inject vocals and more layers to their music, they added vocalist and instrumentalist Jon Matthews.

Last year the band recorded their debut album Catzenatica. Before meeting with them, I had a chance to listen to the album. The first thing to catch my ear were the tempo changes in some of the songs. While the music may be experimental in nature, I still think it has the potential to reach a wide audience.

When I asked them about their style, they mentioned that some of it came from their prog rock backgrounds, but it wasn’t anything planned or intentional. Largely, it just happened to come about due to the fact that each of them had different musical influences and writing styles. They would come together with pieces of music and build songs out of the different fragments they each brought.

Catzenatica was recorded with Steve Foley at Audio Valley Studios. The guys were really happy with what he was able to bring out of band and some of the advice he shared with them along the way.

So what’s in store for 2013?

Trees has ambitious plans now that they have their first album under their belts. Their first priority is playing more shows and getting themselves some out of town gigs. The guys are hoping to build a following along the Toronto/Montreal corridor, before embarking on a more ambitious tour of summer festival shows out east. They are also hoping to landing a spot at our own Ottawa Bluesfest this summer.

The band hopes to get back into the studio to record a follow up. They have plenty more songs ready to go and are eager to get their music heard.

If you’d like to check out Trees for yourself, you can have a listen to Catzenatica on bandcamp, or better yet, catch them live at The Rainbow on February 26th. - Spotlight Ottawa


Catzenatica - 2012



Trees are a group of experimental movers and shakers with roots in Ottawa, Ontario.

They began as an instrumental three piece. Alex and Andrew Gelok, with Alex Johnstone, created a sound that combined their love of post-rock and effect-driven guitar.
A year after formation, Jon Matthews joined Trees as a singer and instrumentalist, bringing melodies to the intricate harmony.

With a unique approach to songwriting, the band's Debut EP Catzenatica was an interesting creation. Certain details made it difficult to record at home, so it wasn't until Trees went to a professional studio that they produced something that every band member was proud to release.

"...the album sounds great it is very well produced and achieves an aura that one can get lost in."
-Matias Munoz, Ottawa Showbox

With influences differing vastly among band members, Trees have formed a blend of styles and rhythms that can change quickly, even within a single song.

Trees have had the privilege of performing alongside great Canadian acts like Braids and Ohbijou, and are inspired to keep working as hard as they can to reach a wide audience in the Canadian music scene.

"While the music may be experimental in nature, I still think it has the potential to reach a wide audience."
-Scott Martin, Spotlight Ottawa

Band Members