Vancouver’s phantom indie rock outfit In Medias Res remains true to its name as the reluctant quartet picks up roughly where it left off with the release of its sophomore LP, It Was Warm and Sunny When We First Set Out. Already an up-and-coming concern with a steady fanbase and some novella-worthy road stories to its credit, In Medias Res hung up the ol’ “Gone Fishing” sign under mysterious circumstances. According to vocalist Andrew Lee, the band’s fate remained in post-rock limbo after an exhausting tour in support of their debut album Of What Was, until popular opinion finally revived them.
“To the public we haven’t really been a band since 2006,” says singer and guitarist Andrew Lee. “We had to field all kinds of rumours as people wondered if we were still together, which didn’t help the situation that was brewing internally. When we hit the road in 2005 it was with a purpose. We wanted to win over every city we played. When we returned home at the end of all that the applause we were receiving seemed automatic and it weirded us out. It was too comfortable; it didn’t require us to push.”
Leading up to its second LP, the band broke through the ennui envelope with the stellar 11-minute opus “The Dark Crystal,” launched on a name-your-price basis online this past December. Reinvigorated by this successful return to form, the foursome felt that the time had arrived to embark on their next full-length attempt. Recorded with Jonathan Anderson (Aidan Knight, Radiogram, Stabilo), who also contributed vocals and background instruments for the album, as well as production duo Dave Carswell and John Collins (The New Pornographers, Destroyer, Tegan and Sara), It Was Warm and Sunny When We First Set Out demonstrates the frenetic fraternity of Lee alongside drummer Steve Watts, lead guitarist Ash Poon and bassist Ryan Flowers.
“It feels good to have the album out after so much buildup,” Lee says. “Even though we weren’t performing we still got together and jammed as a band on a regular basis. We practised every Thursday night and on Saturday mornings we’d go for breakfast and then jam. These songs came out of that lull period. It’s us singing it out.”
Twenty-something juggernauts, In Medias Res continually delight and surprise with a hard-hitting and quirky style. Auspiciously, its fast and hooky sound gained professional confirmation this June when In Medias Res was “discovered” by Vancouver-based File Under: Music. The label quickly set about releasing It Was Warm And Sunny When We First Set Out, producing hard copies of the LP that took three long years to complete in less than three weeks, much to the group’s obvious delight.
“Schematically, the way this album came together is a total accident,” says sonic youth Andrew Lee. “As a songwriting man, I think the apocalyptic images of romance that ends in death represent the extremes we’ve allowed ourselves to go to in finding a new direction and a new place to start. We’re done with hashing out our influence; we dealt with the bands that we wanted to be on our first album. We’ve branched into a more faithful punk rock sound. It’s a totally new game for In Medias Res.”