Canary have quietly been gathering a following whilst winning over critics as finalists in the International Songwriting Competition 2014. The band have just released their single ‘here we go’ from their upcoming second album. Tomatrax caught up with Matthew Kenneally the band’s frontman, to ask a few questions.
You have your second album coming out soon, how will it compare with your debut?
It’s a lot more of a cohesive sound and style than our debut Dear Universe while still being fairly ecclectic. The songs themselves have much more of a consistent theme running through them considering they were written over the course of about a year. Unlike Dear Universe, with songs spanning about a 5 year writing period.
You received critical acclaim from around the world for your debut album, did this make you feel any pressure when working on this album?
No not really. Motivation yes. But not pressure. It might be different if the whole album hadn’t been written yet I suppose.
Where did the name I am lion come from?
It has various associations. To name a couple, I’m a” Leo” star sign, I’ve been likened visually to a lion and it’s a play on the “I am lion, hear me roar!” thing. Although in this case, the lion is quite weak and pathetic. I guess it’s meant to be a bit ironic.
What make you pick ‘Here we go’ as the latest single from the album?
Well it’s one of the most extreme and energetic songs on the album. It was really fun to try to push it as hard as we could in the mixing phase. I don’t know really. We just wanted to follow the last single Women’s Business with something that’s fairly different.
What was the inspiration behind the front cover for the ‘Here we go’ single?
The initial concept was to have an image that was stagnant, simple and delicate. Deliberately to stand in stark contrast next to the song itself which is dynamic, energetic and a bit manic. We wanted to base the design on the same style as these little drawings/illustrations in the “Good News Bible” I had as a kid. Will Devereux brought that idea to life more perfectly than we’d expected.
Incidentally, the backpack on his back ties in with the video we’re releasing for Here We Go in which all 5 of us skydive. If you imagine there’s a parachute in there.
Where did you get the ideas for the video clip for ‘Women’s business’?
Adam had wanted to make a dancing video for Women’s Business for a while. He came up with the split screen/switching back and forth between cameras idea. Then it was just a matter of finding some cool locations and dancers to do it. Not to mention finding the perfect director for the job, Jam Nawaz.
The members of the band bring in influences from electronic to folk to hip hop, is it hard to get the different styles to work together?
No not really. When you blend weird stuff like that together, every step is exciting and new. That makes it easier. It’s harder when it’s sounding boring. I think I’d find it harder to stick within a specific style. All of the guys have their own varying influences which they can draw upon. It’s not like Ed’s just a jazz trumpet player and Zac only plays hip hop lines on bass or something. That’d be hard to make work I suppose.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yeah. Obsessively right up until it’s released. Then I usually lose interest.
What other music do you listen to?
We listen to a lot of different music and I’m still personally catching up on a lot of older music. I discovered The Smiths just this year.
What do you have planned once the album is out?
Where’d the name Canary come from?
We came up with it initially as a stop gap until we found a proper name. Then it just stuck. Canary was my primary school nickname. Orange hair, last name “Kenneally” etc.
Check out Canary’s website to find out more!