Treaties – Parting Gifts

“There’s no way this sound is just three guys!” is what I incredulously exclaim to myself, almost every time that I listen to Treaties summer 2023 album, Parting Gifts. This is saying something, because it’s become one of my go-to running albums and therefore features prominently in my listening rotation! Not only am I blown away by the dynamic instrumental sound created by Toby Hunter (drums), Brad Davis (bass/vocals), and Brandon Kane (guitar/vocals), but I am obsessed with the lyrics and vocal harmonies that make me think that I’m back in middle school listening to the Gin Blossoms. Which, intentional or not on their part, is a glorious thing in my eyes!

The 30-second, first track, “PG” (a nod to the title of the album and last words of the song), is an incredibly understated beginning to the album. Comprised of a simple, slow drum march and dreamy, wistful vocals that are to serve as a “parting gift” of last words and reflections to an ex. Then, in just a single beat, the album takes a complete 180 and explodes with guitars, drums, and vocals in the first single, “Snuffbox.” The lyrics from the first verse, “like a cherry bomb exploding” captures this contrast perfectly, and the album proceeds with faster beats and rocking guitars until the finish. Musically, the albums builds in dynamics, featuring the already mentioned gorgeous harmonies and rock sound.

Parting Gifts features four singles: “Snuffbox,” “Furiosa,” “Anna Rose” and “Stummies”, all of which tell rich vocal stories over rocking bass lines and drum beats. “Stummies,” especially stands out to me for the brilliant lines, “But no one burns a bridge like I do, waging a Cold War against my intentions. A serious nod to things that I shouldn’t mention.” 

My other favorites on the album are “On our Own” which tells the story of 3 different people in verses, joined together by the the common theme of the chorus: “he/she/I don’t want to be alone; I’m not saying nothing new…” and the desire to “get his/her shit together” and “find a better place on our own.”  Finally, “Aperio,” the second to last track, is perhaps the musical peak, who’s lyrics paint a picture of loneliness and disconnectedness (“Aimless and drifting but no one is listening”), sung over urgent guitar and drums, and features an awesome guitar solo at the end.

Treaties hail from Altoona, Pennsylvania and play primarily across the state and in the region. Parting Gifts is their first full length album, currently out on Allegedly Records, and follows their self-titled 2020 EP.

E-Hoe is a sometimes guest writer, part time world traveler, and full time high school Spanish teacher. When she’s not collecting bruises in the pit, she’s logging miles on her bike. 

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