Spotlight on Local Music: Folk rockers Trego to release new self-titled album and host launch party
By Julien A. Luebbers
For the spokesperson-Revue
Trego is one of Spokane’s top performing groups with an almost 10 year history in the region. Arbiter of folk rock and roll, Trego is back with a single from his upcoming self-titled album, a project frontman Matt Mitchell described as “just light years more mature than our previous work.”
The new track, “Scarred Heart” (released September 16), is a real change of pace from the previous version, “August”, which in its melancholy and pensive grip brought out the more introspective side of the group. With “Scarred Heart” the same self-examination and the same reflection emerge in a different form: a dance floor in its own right.
“It’s a four-person tune on the floor, just a rock and roll style tune,” Mitchell said. The lyrics are about the course of life, drawing on Mitchell’s personal anecdotes. The main takeaway lyric, as he put it, is “We’re not here for very long. And life – it’s as cliché as it gets – is short.
Trego could have taken the subject of the ephemeral of life in a number of directions, so why a catchy and catchy song? “Scarred Heart” focuses on the surviving part: “So count your blessings, knock on wood / Something saw fit to help you / Hallelujah, it’s good to be alive.”
Hallelujah rings loud and clear, backed up by a sound full of guitars, brass, drums and more. It’s a song that makes you nod, stomp and groove. But “Scarred Heart” is just one of 11 tracks from Trego’s upcoming album, each song filled with fervor and folk tones.
The album was recorded before the pandemic, but it seems oddly well suited to the present moment. “There is a flavor of resilience, persistence and hope that is found in the songs,” Mitchell said. “I think that’s pretty applicable considering that over the last year and a half music has been sidelined and friendships sidelined.”
The songs cover a wide range of topics, all drawn from aspects of Mitchell’s life, but there is a large expanse, which he is deliberately leaving. “I hope the listener can listen to the lyrics and apply their own experience to them,” he said.
Although Trego is a group of six, most of the writing comes from Mitchell. “There are times when I bring a song for the band, and we’re working on the arrangement, and there’s a lot of input, a lot of collaboration,” he said. “And then sometimes the way I wrote, it just moves right into the band, and it kind of just seems to click there.”
With almost all of the tracks, Trego’s music begins as an acoustic piece, a one-man show. It is with the creative and sonorous additions of the other five members, however, that each song takes its full form. “I like each of these songs in a different way, and I think different people will have different favorites.”
And that’s one thing to note about the upcoming “Trego”: the sound is organic, full and diverse. The album lacks nothing in terms of good, interesting songs, but it also fails and doesn’t go overboard.
Soft and reduced moments are well executed and not overworked; songs full of sound (like “Scarred Heart”) do not assert themselves too much. It’s a delicate balance, but one that the group manages to achieve.
“Trego” is scheduled for release on October 16th. Until then, we have “August” and “Scarred Heart” to stay engaged, and neither of the tracks is a disappointment. If you like folk, rock ‘n’ roll or just any good music then Trego is a band to listen to now.
To promote the release of “Trego”, Trego will be hosting a release party on October 16 at the Lucky You Lounge. Trego will be joined by two other local groups, Folk Crimes and Terrible Buttons. Tickets are available on tregoband.com. Discover the Instagram of the group @tregoband and find Trego’s music on Spotify.
Julien A. Luebbers can be contacted at [email protected]