By: Dakota Arsenault
The opening to Newmarket’s own Cigar Club’s latest single, "Like Flats in Winter", has guitarist Trevor Coughlin slowly plucking away as the notes come out crunchy and distorted, while simultaneously giving a hauntingly beautiful vocal delivery. The first line might be the most evocative in the entire song, “Walking off pavement into stars”, a sentiment that is easy to envision, but the meaning of it can be up to interpretation by the listener. Combining this coy lyricism of reaching somewhere far away by floating off the edge of our existence with the guitar playing that has enough fuzz to it, it immediately transports anyone who hears the track into somewhere else.
Following the haunting introduction, Coughlin’s delivery turns from despair to emboldened, as he belts out with confidence “But I’ve got no patience in my mind/Ain’t got no gracious in my eyes/I’ve got not braces on my spine/I feel lighter with you inside” and at that point, the rest of the band kicks in and the song turns from a slow woozy blues rocker to an all-out dark alternative anthem.
The track kicks into overdrive as the vocals give way to his own and Amato-Gauci dueling guitars, as it sounds as though they each try to one-up each other's aggression with chunky headbanging riffs.
Everything comes together in a crescendo with the backbeat of Jeff LeFort’s rhythmic bass lines and Tyler Booth’s monstrous double kick drum beats. Just when you are happily headbanging away, a wild vibraslap appears before giving way to maracas and hand percussion drumming, taking the song from rock and towards something with a Latin dance flair to it. Cigar Club’s drummer Booth said his contributions to the song “was influenced heavily by Latin dancing music, I wanted to go with something that would make people move their hips. A little clavé can go a long way. Also, I would say this is the song where I opened up the most with my playing style.”
Eventually, the maracas turn to the sound of a rattlesnake getting ready to attack its prey, just like the grooviness of the song switches gears to bring back the intensity. Coughlin returns to the middle refrain, this time with more onslaught as the bands backing harmonies start to creep in as if there are many voices battling for control inside your own head.
Originally this song was supposed to have a much later release, but with the pandemic changing up everyone’s plans, Coughlin knew it had to be on their upcoming record coming out on May 20th. It’s an early peek of what is to come, but according to Amato-Gauci it “was a last-minute song but it’s by far my favourite song off this album.”
Stay tuned for another single release before their debut LP "Day, Now" drops in May.
Follow the band on Instagram.