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What we have here is inventive, somewhat schizophrenic, yet undoubtedly upbeat and fun. Royal Canoe are a wiley synth-pop pop outfit from Winnipeg Canada, in NYC last Fall to warm things up for their pals Rubblebucket on their most recent tour.

On stage performing songs from their recent album, Today We're Believers (Roll Call Records), the band take a really tight set of synth songs and imagine how they can distort the living hell out of them; a rush of crackling guitar effects here, a heap of industrialized vocal treatment there, and, hey while we're at it, let's just deconstruct the drums. It's twisted stuff, like they've run their songs through a weed wacker, spraying the audience with all the scrumptious remnants. But elements of the pristine remain; warm acoustics, pocket strings, playful background vox, and endearing vocal melodies. If you had to peg the sound down, it's probably what would happen if bands like Passion Pit, OK Go, Menomena, and Yeasayer were all competing for the same airtime.

Transcript

- Hello, New York City.
We are Royal Canoe.
Thank you for coming early.
Don't forget to focus close on the air above your nose
Let the watercolors bleed down the aisle of sandy feet
Out across the sugarcane, through the mountains'
swelling veins.
All the earth is coming free
It's a river to the sea
Roll out the thunder
Let's fling some water at the ground
No hesitation You got to push the air
to make a sound
Hold on to the metal.
Collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
Hold on to the metal, collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
They say, if you sleep on the flatbed.
You'll wake up on a rooster shed
Sweating every vibration, choking on your cries
Bouncing baby is dancing to the rhythm of the rattling
Had a conversation with the devil in his eyes
Don't you sleep on the flatbed, you'll wake up on a rooster shed
Sweating every vibration, choking on your cries
Bouncing baby is dancing to the rhythm of the rattling
Had a revelation, you're never gonna die
Hold on to the metal.
Collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
Hold on to the metal, Collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
Hold on to the metal Collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
Hold on to the metal Collide with the arm beside you
Be afraid of what's behind to get inside of what's inside you
- Thank you.
Up in my room, working it out, trying not to make a sound
Chasing another arrow of light; it's always the same somehow
Your body, body Your body, body
Flat on my back, afraid to admit that I'm getting older now
It's calling you out, calling you out
calling you out at night
Shaking in the cold, oh, so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty
Most of my friends got the fuck out in the exodus of the year
Now it's just me and you in dim winter light
Straining ourselves to hear those three stupid words
I haven't said while calling you out at night
Shaking in the cold, oh, so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty
Shaking in the cold, oh, so gallantly
The advantage of withholding your honesty
- Thank you.
How's it doing out there, New York? How's it going? We've had a great time in New York.
We always do.
We did the most obvious Canadian thing we could ever do.
And we went to see our hometown Winnipeg Jets play your hometown New York Rangers.
Jets won.
It was great.
It was great.
Yeah, hockey.
What's that? Just kidding.
You guys are New Yorkers.
You know what hockey is.
You're Canadian? Nice.
So are we.
Also, we do have some CDs.
We have some T-shirts.
We have some tote-bags.
We have some vinyl.
We have lots of things.
We have lots of things.
If you guys like things, we have things.
We like to sell you things.
'Cuz the thing about New York City that I know is you guys like money.
You like buying things.
You like selling things.
Am I right on that? Yeah.
You have a part of your city called, the Financial District, for fuck sakes.
It's amazing.
Where is this? Hell's Kitchen? Why is it called Hell's Kitchen? Does anyone know? No one knows? We're all here, and no one has any idea? We're just gonna play some more music now.
How does that sound? Okay.
All right.
Hot little rhymes shot off the wall
Spitting on the ground, hoping for more than just a vibration
We've had our time We've seen it all
But that's all just a lie cause there's still a degree of celebration
Flavors of the mind flow sweetly but sour
Softened by the touch of the fingers that rub up, up, up upon it
All that remains is the feeling in your chest
Like a phantom in the room and you can't get a grip unless you grab it
The bathtubs in the hallway are here to stay
The bathtubs in the hallway are here to stay
One for every bedroom where the tenants used to bathe
The bathtubs in the hallway are in the way
I dreamt, I dreamt we, I dreamt we gave into the pulse
I dreamt we gave into the pulse.
My pulse, your pulse, pulse, pulse
I dreamt, I dreamt we, I dreamt we gave into the pulse
I dreamt we gave into the pulse My pulse, your pulse, pulse, pulse
I dreamt, I dreamt we, I dreamt we gave into the pulse
I dreamt we gave into the pulse.
My pulse, your pulse, pulse, pulse
I dreamt, I dreamt we, I dreamt we gave into the pulse.
I dreamt we gave into the pulse
The bathtubs in the hallway are here to stay
The bathtubs in the hallway are here to stay
Are in the way.
Are here to stay
A dusty organ keeps them company
A dusty organ keeps them company
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven missing keys
Our dusty organs keep us company
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Holed up with the rookies who turn it up
Hallelujah, it's gonna get much brighter
Joy
Rollin' in the Corolla.
Only sipping the cola
All your lonely friends, they be making amends down in Espanola
I'm gonna rip the seat off
Even turn the heat off
Backroads with the roses on the mound where your cousin veered off
If we ever get through the rushing water
I know, I know, I know we'll make it all the way
If we ever get through the rushing water
I know, I know, I know we'll make it all the way
Holy water in the tumbler.
Forgetting names like a mumbler
I'm getting humbler.
Oh, she's a button fumbla
Now up above me soars a rumbler. There's miles to stumble
Nobody ever took home a grumbler
Your mother don't give a damn what your father bought her
She knows, she knows, she knows that we went all the way
Your mother don't give a damn what your father bought her
She knows, she knows, she knows
There's the clatter of a king-can clanking the ground
Twenty stories up, you still hear the sound
Sun's up on top of the world, touching our faces in all the delicate places
And there's all this beauty just screaming out
It's like a goddamn forest 'bout ready to sprout
It's cracking them floors and the grout
I feel my tongue making shapes in my mouth. Holy water in the tumbler
Forgetting names like a mumbler
I'm getting humbler.
Oh, she's a button fumbla. Up above me soars a rumbler
There's miles to stumble.
Nobody ever took home a grumbler
And my feet running back beneath me
I wonder if they'll know that my heels could crush the city
Oh, you're feeling like, like your body doesn't
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
You're feeling like, like your body doesn't know
With joy.
With joy.
With joy. With joy
Stay out of my shack.
Can't you see I'm busy? I got a lots to tackle
I wanna fill up my deep freezer for ya'
My line, it ain't been taut in a long, long while
But this is the spot where I carve out my castle
I'm a warrior.
Nightcrawlin'
And the way she goes.
Been holding me, holding me down low
Nightcrawlin'
And the way she goes.
Been holding me, holding me down low
There's a chill when the moon don't shines. It's getting heavier
The ranger, he roams and whines, like I'm rolling in confetti. The destroyer
I don't need science.
Don't wanna sift through a mountain for diamonds
It's all a distraction from exploring ya'
Nightcrawlin'
And the way she goes.
Been holding me, holding me down low
Nightcrawlin'.
And the way she goes Been holding me, holding me down low
Shadow on my shoulder nightly.
This could be a working holiday
You don't say a word, you're dreaming of something for our hands
to do while we wait.
Nightcrawlin'
And the way she goes.
Been holding me, holding me down low
Nightcrawlin'.
And the way she goes.
Been holding me, holding me down low
Nightcrawlin'.
Nightcrawlin'.
Nightcrawlin'. Nightcrawlin'
Nightcrawlin'
- Thank you so much.
We're Royal Canoe.
You guys are so much fun to play for.
Thank you.

Artist Bio

Royal Canoe is a group of musicians on a mission to construct ambitious,
inventive music. The songs are thick with catchiness, rich in rhythm and are
consistently pushing against the boundaries of pop music.

They spend almost every day in a shit-hole rehearsal space writing hooks,
singing through effects pedals, scrawling lyrics on scraps of paper, and
constructing heavy beats in odd time signatures. They create samples by running
conventional sounds through unconventional pieces of gear, drumming on
bathtubs and garbage cans, listening to Big Boi and manipulating bits of old
records.

The band calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home the enigmatic prairie city,
which has served artists as both an abundant, creative watering hole and a
debilitating quagmire. The city's mood swings from euphoric summers spent
biking with beers, fence-hopping residential pools and climbing abandoned rooftops to harsh, bitter winters that are countered first with defiance, then selfloathing, then denial, then "You've got to be fucking kidding me." Royal Canoe's
songs are, in part, an effort to make sense of the resentment and romanticism of the city's divergent identities.

Editorial

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Royal Canoe

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