Royal Canoe – “Today We’re Believers”
 Roll Call Records
-out June 25
3.5 / 5

Take a sextet (tee hee) of Canadians, add strings and horns, and blend with pop until finely pureed: what do you get? Probably some sort of orchestral pop close to that of Royal Canoe. The Winnepeg, Manitobans have a winning combination on their debut full-length, one that combines deep, Megatron-like robotic voices, shouts, aforementioned strings and horns, claps, and just general joyousness; it’s not unlike that raucous, singing frat party next door, but far less obnoxious and far more cultured. They shine splendidly, they keep their cool, they groove like snow tires on the open pavement, and most of all, they do it all brand-new. That is to say, they keep it fresh.

While we’re not going to say Canoe is brilliant, they are confident and outgoing. On “Hold On to the Metal,” they’ve got rhythm, and they definitely got music. Throughout the Today We’re Believers, they play with rhythms and pop not unlike Dutch Uncles (who we really like, by the way), and all we’re going to say is that some of the tracks are great, and some are just above-average. As in they sound good, but there’s not quite that connection that bands like Deer Tick and Yim Yames always seem to get. But even though this music doesn’t quite stick, it’s still a lot of fun to sit back and get pulled through one like “Bathtubs,” which opens up into a full on blasting chorus. Yeah, we think that’s a good word to describe Canoe. Fun.

So have some fun with their incredibly layered sound. We think these guys know what they’re doing already, and will only get better in the coming years. Not a necessary album, but enjoyable and recommended.

Come listen to a few tracks on Soundcloud.

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