You know what’s a word that’s not tossed around much when referring to pop music?
But that’s exactly the word I keep coming back to when I hear Winnipeg natives Royal Canoe. Their music is built around the way the instruments interweave with each other, grabbing ideas out of thin air at a dizzying rate. A single instrument is never empasised for more than a few seconds before giving way to a new sound, a rhythmic shift or a sudden melodic left turn. Even the vocals are more often than not shifted and doubled until singer Matt Peters’ voice is close to unrecognisable.
Their brand of pop pastiche is less nostalgia trip and more “throw it at a wall and see what sticks” and against all odds it manages to come together in a way that’s not only fresh and exciting but also warm, vibrant and alive. Plenty of bands will throw out new ideas or complex time signatures out of a need to seem impressive or innovative but Royal Canoe never lose sight of the tone and pace of each song. It’s the definition of holistic pop music, everything fits together seamlessly and it eschews the trappings of traditional song structure in favour of a style that exists in service of an all encompassing now. A song could completely change at any second but it’s hard to notice when each individual moment is so joyful and exciting.
Royal Canoe’s debut album Today We’re Believers is out September 23rd on Nettwerk Records