Written by Arnold van der Walt
“Pull me up lord I’m dying / Time to let the light in”
Canadian indie-pop group Royal Canoe recently released the music video for their track ‘RAYZ’ ahead of their forthcoming album ‘Waver’ set to be released 25 January 2019 via Paperbag Records. The group’s 2016 sophomore album ‘Something Got Lost Between Here And The Orbit’ was released to critical acclaim, making their follow-up release all the more anticipated.
Royal Canoe has quite an unique sound which fans have come to love (and expect) from them. Comparable to acts like Glass Animals, Son Lux, and alt-J, their signature blend of psychedelic guitar licks with electronic elements sprinkled throughout the music, makes for a funky RnB-pop demeanour that demands attention. Their latest offering, ‘RAYZ’ is no exception.
Royal Canoe truly shines on all fronts with the release of ‘RAYZ’. The track’s melancholic lyrical content is overshadowed by the upbeat production and use of keys and what sounds like backing choirs putting emphasis on key points. The themes of summer and sunshine is usually correlated to feelings of happiness, bliss and freedom. Royal Canoe throws all of these conventions out the window and subverts the listener’s expectations as it’s made clear from the beginning that not everyone experiences summer in the same way. ‘RAYZ’ focuses on complicated discouraging emotions and trying to improve yourself, hoping that better times will flow your way. This is not always the case.
The video sends home a similar message, as we follow a day in the life of an aging street performer entertaining people on a sunny coastline. It’s made clear that our golden protagonist is vastly different from the smiling robot he portrays to the outside world. As soon as he washes off his makeup, we see a man struggling financially, not enjoying this phase of his life as he sips on a drink in a lonely dive bar. He longs for the life other people live. He longs for a time when he was free in nature. He longs for the time the sun’s rays brought him joy.
On ‘RAYZ’, Royal Canoe said:
“’RAYZ’ is a song about feeling a dark cloud hovering above and needing to reach up to see past it. You can’t help but desperately clamour for the ladder, but what are you leaving behind? There are so many forces pulling you this way and that: Be more successful, always say the right thing, get fit, make goals, achieve them flawlessly, be better in every possible way. But the higher you reach, the harder it is to stay grounded to yourself and those around you. In the chaos all you want is some clarity.”
Listen to Royal Canoe – ‘RAYZ’ here:
Royal Canoe will release their next album ‘Waver’ in January 2019, followed by an European tour with the following confirmed dates:
Jan 25 – Baden, Switzerland @ Werkk
Jan 26 – Bulle, Switzerland @ Ebulittion
Jan 29 – Prague, Czech Republic @ Roxy
Jan 30 – Berlin, Germany @ Kantine Berghain
Jan 31 – Hamburg, Germany @ Nochtwache
Feb 1 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
Feb 5 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
Feb 6 – London, United Kingdom @ Thousand Island
Feb 8 – Paris, France @ Le Pop Up du Label