It took just days to record, but Rivers & Rust, the debut album from local indie rock outfit Haunter, was years in the making.
The band has been building buzz in fits and starts for the last five years, releasing a rough-hewn EP in 2008 and a follow-up seven-inch in 2009, before catching the attention of Greg MacPherson and Cam Loeppky and joining their imprint, Disintegration Records.
But a proper full-length release seemed just out of reach for the young band. "We had no money," frontman Matt Williams says simply.
Haunter's Rivers & Rust (Marie-France Hollier)
Happily, Rivers & Rust
, is worth the wait. It's an accomplished debut on equal footing with peers Cannon Bros' career-making Firecracker/Cloudglow
, embodying a similar DIY, '90s college rock sensibility and spirit.
"[The album] reflects five years of practice," bassist Marie-France Hollier says.
"It's well curated," adds drummer Ryan Coates. "It's the benefit and curse of taking so long."
Despite the fact the oldest song on Rivers & Rust
is five years old, the record sounds both fresh and cohesive.
"I don't think it seems old," Williams says. "As an introduction to Haunter, I'd say it's perfect."
"It's a portrait of a time and place but it doesn't feel dated," Hollier agrees.
Rather, the album feels timeless -- a point owed to the band's always-in-season influences (think perennial favourites Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine), but also to its production quality. Haunter tips its proverbial hat to its producer Loeppky (Weakerthans, Greg MacPherson, Cannon Bros).
"A lot of that has to do with Cam," Coates agrees. "There's a definite difference in production value. He's got the ears and the experience."
The band is planning a short Western Canadian tour in support of the record in August. Then, it's time to move on.
"Having finally put out an album and be able to hold it in my hands -- that was important to me the whole time," Williams says. "I'm happy it's done and we can finally start working on something new."Haunter releases Rivers & Rust on June 27 at The Windsor Hotel.