Langley-based band The Cole Patenaude Band invites us into an insightful odyssey of love, heartbreak, loss, and change in new record Are You Happy Now? It’s a fluid record where various genres morph into frisson-dripping sounds that define TCPB’s songsmithing skills. “This album is an absolute mix of what The Cole Patenaude Band is about. We don’t fit purely into one genre and I really wanted this collection of songs to be the beginning of what we are capable of,” shared founder Cole Patenaude.
Taking off the record with “Letchugo,” TCPB places one of the poppier songs in the beginning to hook us right away with its foot-stomping rhythmic layers. We are thrown into a country-centric soundscape in “For The Money” where the playful vibe nudges us into a flat-footed glide. TCPB brings back the classic spirit of indie rock in the chic single” Would You Be Mine,” where the propulsive percussions capture both the tension and emotion thrill of pursuing someone. The same spit is found in “Barely Alive,” a survival anthem that captures the woes of our broken generation.
In “How To Love,” TCPB channels the inner romantic by settling into a dreamy downtempo melody letting the listeners soak and savor the heart-professing lyrics. But the energy rockets again in the bluesy rock piece “Compromise” that showers us with 80s vibe. The following piece, “Good Enough,” is a gut-wrenching and laidback existential reflection where he explores the deep dissatisfaction and fears of not meeting other people’s expectations.
The penultimate track is covered with twinkling strings and tear-like piano drops where TCPB reflects on feeling lost. “Now my mind don’t feel like mine” chants Patenaude. The final track “Are You Happy Now?” muses on the idea of happiness and whether it is truly attainable. It’s a bittersweet rock finale where he captures our constant desire and doubt towards happiness, turning the question into a life mantra that we can never fully get the answer we want. With this final song, TCPB wraps up the record reflecting on the uncertain nature of happiness.