PREMIERE: “Living a Lie” Makes Royal Canoe Nauseated and Dizzy in New Single

Organs, drums, and sax—get dizzy!
PREMIERE: “Living a Lie” Makes Royal Canoe Nauseated and Dizzy in New Single

Organs, drums, and sax—get dizzy!

Words: Sadie Sartini Garner

photo by Jaclyn Campanaro

July 21, 2016

Royal Canoe / photo by Jaclyn Campanaro

Winnipeg’s Royal Canoe hasn’t released an album since 2013’s Today We’re Believers, which saw them being nominated for Alternative Album of the Year at the Junos and opening for alt-J on tour. But the ensuing years haven’t been spent in vain. Working with famed producer Ben Allen, the sextet refined their sound, shifting their focus to rhythmic and percussive dexterity without sacrificing the soulfulness that made Believers’ “Bathtubs” a hit.

“Living a Lie,” which we’re happy to be premiering today, is the product of that renewed focus. “On the new record we spent a lot of time manipulating organic sounds with elaborate pedal chains and effects loops that we later ran into sampling devices,” says the band’s Matt Peters. “The goal was to create libraries of sounds that felt somewhat alien, but that still had a familiar ‘skin’ on them. On ‘Living a Lie,’ the organ, vocals, sax, and a bunch of the drums were all created with this approach.”

While the scattered drum pattern gives the track its shuffle, the real star is a freak of organ screams that lend the song a queasiness similar to that found on Archy Marshall’s A New Place 2 Drown. But where the erstwhile King Krule keeps things on the downlow, Royal Canoe patiently trap the song’s energy until explodes into a full-on haunt.

“All of this rhythmic interplay [was done] so the song could have the deep sexiness of a slow jam, but with a desperate frenetic energy,” Peters says. “We wrote this song while a couple of us were still hung up on old flames and finding it difficult to disengage. It’s about realizing how much you subconsciously manipulate your plans and routines in an attempt to be closer to somebody you can’t get over, and then trying to come to terms with how much of your identity is indebted to their presence in your life and whether or not you even want to let go.”

“Living a Lie” is taken from the band’s forthcoming Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit, which is out September 16 on Nevado Music/Embassy of Music/Moorworks. Give it a listen below, then catch them out on the road; those dates follow.

Royal Canoe tour dates

Aug 20 – Invermere, BC @ Invermere Music Festival
Aug 21 – Rock Creek, BC @ Ponderosa Festival
Sept 8 – Guelph, ON @ Brass Taps Pub
Sept 9 – Waterloo, ON @ Maxwell’s
Sept 10 – Hamilton, ON @ Hamilton Supercrawl
Sept 15 – Winnipeg, MB @ Burton Cummings Theatre
Sept 17 – Lethbridge, AB @ Love & Records Festival
Sept 18 – Bozeman, MT @ The Filling Station
Sept 19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
Sept 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Hi Hat
Sept 28 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
Sept 29 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Sept 30 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial
Oct 1 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar
Oct 3 – Rossland, BC @ The Flying Steamshovel
Oct 5 – Calgary, AB @ Marquee Beer Market & Stage
Oct 6 – Red Deer, AB @ Bo’s Bar and Grill
Oct 7 – Edmonton, AB @ UP+DT Festival
Oct 8 – Saskatoon, SK @ The Capitol
Oct 18 – Kingston, ON @ The Mansion
Oct 19 – Quebec City, QC @ L’Anti
Oct 20 – Fredericton, NB @ Capital Complex
Oct 21 & 22 – Halifax, NS @ Halifax Pop Explosion
Oct 26 – St. Catharines, ON @ L3
Oct 27 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
Oct 28 – Ottawa, ON @ Zaphod Beeblebrox
Oct 29 – Montreal, QC @ La Vitrola
Oct 30 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
Nov 1 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Nov 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
Nov 5 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Nov 7 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
Nov 9 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen
Nov 12 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry

Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit is out September 16 via Nevado Music/Embassy of Music/Moorworks.