12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Canada's Royal Canoe gained considerable critical ground by releasing several EPs before its debut album, Today We’re Believers. Here, the six-piece group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, breaks out the samplers and, one assumes, some conventional instruments to create a mix designed to be heard on headphones or at gatherings, where the sounds take on a supernatural quality. The falsettos guiding “Today We’re Believers,” “Hold on to the Metal," and “Exodus of the Year” match the keyboard lines, which give way to curious stretches of ambient sound that somehow hold things together. “Bathtubs,” with its ensemble vocals, chiming keyboard notes, and tight, nearly danceable beats, demands to be a single. But there’s something about the group’s artistic curiosity and avant-garde quality that suggests Royal Canoe intends this music to be heard as one long chess match in sound.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Canada's Royal Canoe gained considerable critical ground by releasing several EPs before its debut album, Today We’re Believers. Here, the six-piece group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, breaks out the samplers and, one assumes, some conventional instruments to create a mix designed to be heard on headphones or at gatherings, where the sounds take on a supernatural quality. The falsettos guiding “Today We’re Believers,” “Hold on to the Metal," and “Exodus of the Year” match the keyboard lines, which give way to curious stretches of ambient sound that somehow hold things together. “Bathtubs,” with its ensemble vocals, chiming keyboard notes, and tight, nearly danceable beats, demands to be a single. But there’s something about the group’s artistic curiosity and avant-garde quality that suggests Royal Canoe intends this music to be heard as one long chess match in sound.

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About Royal Canoe

Canadian sextet Royal Canoe deliver a bright, percussive style of indie pop, high on multi-instrumentalism and tuneful, layered songwriting. Formed in 2010 from the ashes of several prominent Winnipeg bands, Royal Canoe came together around the songs of frontman Matt Peters, counting acts like OutKast, Beck, and the Knife among their early influences. Along with guitarist Bucky Driedger, keyboardist Matt Schellenberg, bassist Brendan Berg, and dueling drummers Derek Allard and Michael Jordan, Peters and his crew recorded their debut, Co-Op Mode, which was released by Canadian indie Head in the Sand Records. A national tour introduced audiences to Royal Canoe's dynamic stage presence and complex, hooky sound, and in 2012 they followed up with the Extended Play EP.

Their second LP, 2013's Today We're Believers, put them on the map, reaching number 19 on the Canadian National Alternative chart and netting them a Juno nomination. Major festival appearances and national and international tours with Alt-J, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Of Montreal followed as their momentum continued to build. In an unusual twist, their next project would be a tribute of sorts to one of their heroes, as they recorded an interpretation of Beck's 2012 sheet music-only collection, Song Reader, in 2014. For their third album, Royal Canoe enlisted co-producer Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley), who helped them continue to expand their genre-mashing musical palette on 2016's Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit. ~ Timothy Monger

ORIGIN
Winnipeg, MB
FORMED
2010

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