Elspeth Tremblay & The Treatment: Determined to Feel Good
by Davy Haynes
There's a sense of healing in loud, distorted music. Like jumping into a freezing lake, many of us leave a rock show feeling the best kind of overwhelmed. And that's exactly the type of cure that Detroit band Elspeth Tremblay & The Treatment hope to offer to the world.
For Elspeth Tremblay, the road to being the songwriter of a rock-and-roll band has been both long and winding. After moving to the US from Australia 17 years ago, Tremblay spent time in a number of cities learning to be an artist. She's a chef, portrait artist, and songwriter - and all those talents blend into her work with her newest band, The Treatment. Now settled in Detroit, she's joined forces with Ray Slagle (bass), Joe Condon (drums), and Ryan Dougherty (guitar) to form an unorthodox rock and roll ensemble.
The four musicians agreed from early on that they wanted to focus on the immersive experience of the live show. After six months of dedicated rehearsals, the band finally began playing shows. And its this energy that they hope to capture as they continue to focus on creating iconoclastic rock music. Combining influences like Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, and Tremblay's homeland heroes AC/DC may sound like a clash of styles and genres, but its second nature to Tremblay. When first writing songs and releasing solo records, she had the idea to write rock songs performed on bluegrass instruments. To this day, she still plays a 1930s Gibson archtop; it's goldfoil pickup helping her to craft songs about current events or internal words.
The Treatment are taking a unique approach to releasing music as well. Rather than writing and arranging to enter the studio, the band is pouring all of their energy into live material. Because they formed during the height of the pandemic, the band was trapped in rehearsal spaces for its inception. Tremblay says, "After two years of missing live performance, we are determined to feel good. We want to play the music that is a balm to our soul." The band intends to release polished live footage of their new material in the near future.
Elspeth Tremblay & The Treatment are reminding us that the best thing about music is being in the room while its happening. As a queer artist and performer, Tremblay hopes to inspire her community to throw ourselves headfirst into the art of creation. After all, we don't have time to mess around.