This summer, country has been making a big comeback with fans of all stripes because of the incredible work of indie acts like The Promised, and in the Canadian coupling’s debut single “We Could Be In Love,” listeners get a picture window into the reason why they’ve been drawing so much attention towards their local scene lately. The Promised have a totally original sound that is equal parts country, folk and roots rock, and though “We Could Be In Love” gives up a rather modest melody, the chills that it creates are anything but meek.
The drums are probably the rawest element in this track, but I think that they were deliberately left this way during the mastering process. With the strings sparkling like a pristine lake in the afternoon sunlight, the percussion adds a little bit of much-needed authenticity to the rhythm of the song. For every bombastic feature in “We Could Be In Love,” there’s something old fashioned, simple and unpretentious to balance out the aesthetics of the material. In this sense, The Promised aren’t all that different from alternative country artists like W.C. Beck and Roses & Cigarettes, though they take their folk influences just a touch more seriously.
Honestly, I thought that the music video for “We Could Be In Love” was a little too sugary when compared to the source material that it’s supposed to be supporting, but I’m not certain that I would go as far as to describe it as saccharine in nature. The country shindig-wedding theme has been exploited beyond what it was ever worth, and if the music weren’t as exciting and danceable as it is, I don’t think that there would be anything particularly worth writing home about here. The Promised make a far better song than they do a music video, but at the same time, I can understand why they might have wanted to play it safe with their rookie release.
If The Promised introduced an electric element into their sound, I think that they would be able to get even more of an evocative tone out of the music that they write. There are scores of American bands making songs that sound almost exactly like “We Could Be In Love,” but none of them have had the chops to get a crowd rocking like this pair can. They’ve got something that’s underdeveloped in this single, but they’re demonstrating enough zeal to warrant another trip to the studio in the future.
They’re not there yet, but with time and discipline, I thoroughly believe that The Promised could join the ranks of the Nashville elite. It’s not going to be an easy road, and they will have to make a couple of adjustments to fit in with the American market that will inevitably decide their fate in the years still to come, but I encourage country fans to give “We Could Be In Love” a listen (and its music video a watch) to determine for themselves just what they think about these fascinating, though hard to categorize, country crooners.