Photo by Sam Katz
Winnipeg 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 duelling drummers Derek Allard and Michael Jordan, Peters and his crew are set to release their third studio album, Waver, on January 25th, 2019.
On Waver, their newest collection of songs, Royal Canoe are steering into new terrain. The sun-flared polaroid life of previous albums is exchanged for a miraged-out, ominous landscape. The band still has their kaleidoscopic, beat-driven heart, but these songs play with the absurdity of modern life. When truth is optional, when the most volatile people have the most power, when reality becomes irrational - what do you anchor to?
Creating the album felt like a reset - an exercise in following the seed of inspiration to its end point before deconstructing and rebuilding. “Whenever we begin working on a new album we throw everything out, even if it worked last time, just so we have no chance to rest on our laurels,” says singer Matt Peters, “On Waver we set out to create leaner arrangements and clearer melodies - less between us and the listener.” They wanted to mine new corners of their sound and find new places to go.