If the Grapes of Wrath's debut, September Bowl of Green, sounded like a band searching for its sound, they found it with Treehouse, a 13-song disc full of jangly, pastoral guitar pop, hummable melodies, and terrific harmonies. Co-songwriters and vocalists Tom Hooper and Kevin Kane deliver songs that are airy, light, and imbued with the best elements of '60s British and American pop; you can hear the Byrds in "A Very Special Day" and the Beatles in "At Your Soul." Elsewhere, songs like "So Many Times" and "Seems Like Fate" recall Echo & the Bunnymen and the Smiths. This is thoughtful, folksy pop at its finest.
Treehouse is the second album by the Canadian band the Grapes of Wrath, released in 1987 on Nettwerk.
"Peace of Mind" was the band's first single to reach the RPM singles charts in Canada, peaking at No. 56. "Backward Town" and "O Lucky Man" were also released as singles.
The album was produced by Tom Cochrane. However, he departed the project slightly before it was finished, after conflicting with engineer Ric Arboit over "Peace of Mind"; Cochrane disliked the song and wanted to stop working on it before Arboit or the band thought it was finished. Arboit and Dave Ogilvie finished the final mixes. Cochrane encouraged the band to use pedal steel and keyboards.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that the album "represents a nifty balancing act between harder-edged rock 'n' roll (courtesy of the Hooper brothers on bass and drums) and a more reflective and breezy folksiness." The Kingston Whig-Standard noted that "the instrumental introduction to 'So Many Times' ends up taking up most of the song, but it's a wonderful blend of piano, organ and drums." The Windsor Star called the album "peppy pop music reminiscent of the Mamas and the Papas and other late-'60s bands that blended folk and rock." The Vancouver Sun deemed "Peace of Mind" "one of the cleanest, freshest songs of the year."
Kevin Kane: vocals, guitar, mandolin, piano
Tom Hooper: bass, vocals
Chris Hooper: drums
Ken Greer: pedal steel guitar
John Webster: keyboards
Shalora Sheldan: backing vocals (track A2)
Tom Cochrane: backing vocals (tracks A3, B1)
Photography by Kevin Westenberg
Produced and mixed by Tom Cochrane for Falling Sky Productions
Engineered by Dave Ogilvie and Ric Arboit
Recorded and mixed at Mushroom Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia
Remixed by Fraser Hill
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at at Masterdisk and Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Don Mills, Ontario
Artwork by Julia Sabella
Album layout by Greg Sykes
Design concept by David Rosychuk