While looking through the notes for Treelines’ self-titled debut,I came across a funny thank-you, directed at Summerhill Winery. Funny, because Treelines don’t really seem like the wine types. Their music is the kind of earnest rock ‘n’ roll that gets described as “beer soaked” more often than not.
Singer Matt Lockhart confirmed their true alcohol associations.
“We thanked the winery because we actually recorded the album at the owner of the winery’s house while he was on vacation. It was this really cool –– you know those upper-end houses that were built in the ‘70s, with sunken in living rooms and all that kind of stuff? Carpet everywhere?
“Well that’s where we held up for a couple of weeks in January of that year  and we recorded our record. So that’s why that’s there.
“But no, we are certainly more of a beer band than a wine band.”
(To further cement these qualifications, Lockhart works for B.C.’s Phillips Brewing Company when not working on Treelines.)
The band –– consisting of Lockhart, Matt Kelly, and Steve Lockhart as core members –– originally formed in Kelowna, B.C., a small city with a fruitful music scene. Lockhart names a sizable list of notables –– Jon-Rae Fletcher, Ladyhawk, Bend Sinister, We Are the City, Yukon Blonde, Fields of Green –– that all call or called Kelowna home at some point.
“And I probably missed a bunch,” he adds. “It’s quite nuts.
“It’s such a small music community in Kelowna that you know pretty much everybody that’s come out of it. I don’t know if I’d call it a music community so much as a friend community. We’re all just still friends from that time.”
Like others, Treelines eventually found they had to leave to pursue their music. That, and a case of “young dudes wanting to stretch their legs”, which is easy to relate to. So for them, Vancouver was the easy choice.
“There’s more of whatever you’re into. If you’re into art, there’s more art here. If you’re into basketball, there’s more basketball,” he laughs. “There’s something for everyone. It was a mix. It lined up for the band on a personal level and a developmental level, which made the decision pretty easy.”
We’re starting to see what their new surroundings are netting them. Their first post-move release is Courage, a digital-only four-song EP. (You can go listen for yourself at their Bandcamp page.) Included is “Ode to the Prairies”, a song inspired by the band’s time touring out our way.
“Every time we’ve been out [to the prairies], it’s had a feel to it that I really like, that’s resonated with me. Born out of those experiences came this song that I wrote. Well, that the band wrote and then I put lyrics to, but the experience itself is where it came from.
“I like the old feel of the prairies. It seems like there’s history steeped in every structure you see when you’re driving through the less populated areas. Things have been there a long time. I think there’s a pride in the pioneer spirit that started the whole thing, way back when the government was selling land super cheap along the railroad to get development out that way.”