Royal Canoe have a new album due out next month, it’s called Sidelining. The new single is the track ‘Feels Good’. It’s the third track taken from the new album and it’s out there. Here at Clunk HQ we rather enjoy the track ‘Scratching Static’ and the accompanying video so check it out below. Matt Peters has this to say about ‘Feels Good’.
We wrote Feels Good during the middle of the summer last year, imagining what that first real hang with our friends will be like when things finally get back to normal. You know.. one of those nights with stages, where you don’t really plan anything, but somehow you end up hopping around the city, bumping into people you know wherever you go, and you somehow maintain the perfect tipsiness the whole way through, and you can’t remember when Sara left the group but it’s cool because she texted MJ and said everyone should go to a party on Chestnut, so you go and get there at the same time the pizza arrives, and they offer you a slice and you eat it in the backyard while there’s a fire crackling, and some dude is singing a really bad Dave Matthews song that sounds good for some stupid reason, and everything makes sense just for a few seconds.
Anyway, things are still pretty crazy here in Manitoba, so we’re still just dreaming about that stuff, but if you’re out there where things are normal and you’re living the fully-vaxxed life, this song is about how you’re probably feeling.
Have a listen and a watch then read below for more Royal Canoe words.
|Winnipeg’s award winning indie-pop, and continuously creative collective, Royal Canoe reveal another epic track and visual for “Scratching Static” (feat NNAMDÏ) today. Taken from their upcoming new LP, Sidelining, coming out on July 9, 2021 via Paper Bag Records / Birthday Cake Records, the band built a ‘vizualizer’ for the track, cleverly comprised entirely of GIFs. Atwood premiered the track and video, praising it as “a patchwork tapestry of vibrant sounds that coalesce with remarkable finesse. It’s a genreless pool of driving, colorful music that, thanks to NNAMDÏ’s visceral, dynamic (and seemingly effortless) performance, hits home just right.”|
“The initial idea for the song came from observing the relentless hustle of NYC jazz musicians – especially the drummers who find a way to condense their whole setup into a bag or dolly that they throw into a cab or drag onto the train, so they can hop from gig to gig to gig, night after night,” says the band. “There’s something compelling about this ability to adapt and stay hungry and keep your head above water within this hyper-competitive environment. We mentioned this concept to NNAMDÏ (Chicago vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and all-around brilliant human), and in a couple hours, at our practice space while he was waiting to go to a soundcheck, and with a mesmerizing display of lyrical ingenuity and vocalist swagger he was able to write/record these stacks of flamboyant stream of consciousness words that somehow managed to seamlessly weave between the lyrics we already had and also provide some connective tissue for the non-linear musical ideas of the song.”
Constantly evolving and committed to always finding a new process, when Royal Canoe began work on Sidelining at Private Ear Studios there was one rule: no song-nuggets or lyrical ideas from before. No demos you came up with last week that you brought to the band. Everything would be built and completed that day of recording. Less second-guessing, more music making. “For ‘Scratching Static’ though, we decided to break our rule about not using old-ideas and took one last crack at it with NNAMDÏ.”
Following the successes of their 2019 album Waver and subsequent RC3PO and Glacial (Live) EPs – (where they played instruments made out of ice!), comes, Sidelining. It’s a remarkable and uplifting collection of new music driven by Royal Canoe’s characteristically compelling rhythms and filled with unexpected turns built within a pandemic, and in a way, on the fly.
The Sidelining liner notes reveal more of the psychology behind the album, the comeradery and the common denominators they felt being stuck in this pandemic and realizing we were all stuck on repeat and feeling the same pressures. Royal Canoe decided to chase something new.
“You’re having a bit of a year, aren’t you? I mean, that’s kind of a silly question, because we’re all having a bit of a year – this is just a strange time to be alive – but you’re in over your head. Sure, you made the necessary adjustments. You bought a bread making kit. You did yoga twice. You got a Zoom-pro account. And yet, for some reason, that third re-watch of The Wire just isn’t hitting right. Then, all of a sudden, one of those rogue anxiety-waves comes crashing through your brain fog. You realize that you’ve been spinning in a dozen different overlapping whirlpools. Your work feels joyless and irrelevant. Your relationship is complicated. Everyday the world somehow out-clusterfucks itself. You can’t sleep. You look in the mirror and you’re kinda gross. You’re scrolling and scrolling, watching the goddamn Joneses be as busy as ever. Your body aches in weird new ways. And then, suddenly, the existential threats start to pile on, and it’s like, “OK.. I need to take a minute here…” And that’s when you remember that this isn’t your first rodeo. You take a breath and you tell yourself that you can only control the controllables. Maybe be less of a jerk in your relationships. Try exercising. Read a book. You have friends – lean on them. But also support them, and those around you who need it. And take care of yourself, too, because it’s not necessarily going to get any easier. You step outside for a moment. There’s music playing. The air feels kind. You’re sitting on the stoop watching all that sun shining.”
Royal Canoe will never be characterized as taking the simple, prescribed path over the past decade. This almost stubborn fascination with finding “the long way around” has resulted in a rich catalog of albums, EPs, videos and experimental live-shows that are as adventurous in their process as they are in their creativity. Whether it’s releasing radio-singles in 5/4 time, performing concerts on instruments made of ice, adamantly dragging their multiple-drum-set, six-keyboard, live-setup around the world in their van and trailer, or their various outrageous schemes to stay connected to their fans, Royal Canoe have stuck around because they’ve never lost sight of what drives them – the exhilaration that comes with the opportunity to do something completely new.
Royal Canoe’s musical journey has taken them around the world and into projects they never dreamed of. They’ve played over 500 shows from Kiev to California, toured with Alt-J and Bombay Bicycle Club and hit major festivals like Bonaroo, Iceland Airwaves and Osheaga. Their records have received critical acclaim: a nomination for Alternative Album of the Year at the Junos, winning Best Independent Album at the Western Canadian Music Awards and love from music-press and devoted fans the world over. They’ve written and performed a musical version of Shakespeare’s Richard II, performed their sophomore album backed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and built a concert from Beck’s sheet-music only album Song Reader at Winnipeg’s prestigious New Music Festival. Most recently, Royal Canoe performed an outdoor winter concert to more than 5000 attendees featuring re-imagined versions of their songs using only instruments made of ice harvested from local rivers and ponds