I do love a song that tells a story. That’s why I’m into quite a bit of folk music. My heart does mostly lie with indie and rock, though, so when a band like New Canada comes along, it makes me very happy indeed.
New Canada is the new venture of Justyn Withay, who is also behind side project Old Bus. He has now enlisted Rousse Taylor and Mike Baxter to take part in this new journey.
They’ve just released their first EP, Popular Baby. At first listen, they reminded me of a cross between Grandaddy and Bright Eyes, both of which are bands who like to tell a tale within their musical offerings.
The EP starts off with Highwayland, a tune that seeps into your consciousness by way of a continual melody akin to a lullaby, along with an intermittent drum roll style beat. This is a stunning song – it’s got me gripped, and wanting to hear more. If I can get past playing this song on repeat, I will do just that…!
Withay’s vocals are so strong – I really adore the slight wobble in his voice, and the American drawl. It’s demonstrated perfectly on track 2, “Charlemagne is Stronger than You or Me”. If I’m to criticise this song at all, it would be to say that there is everso slightly too much in the way of cymbals for my liking. I can get past that, though, as the rest of the song is good and strong, so it can carry the smashing sound!
Penultimate track “Machu Picchu and Tristan de Cunha” has achieved a superb ambience. I love the vocal effects, and the melodic interludes. The lengthened notes, when sung, make me feel as if I am travelling, and the gentle end as if I have arrived. This is a very intelligently thought out song.
Finally, we come to “Strange Old Dove”, a simple echo of a track that ensures the voice is considered an instrument with which to convey the message “I love you”. Cushioned by the security of guitars, which gently move alongside the vocals, this is an absolutely sublime end to a wonderful EP.
You can buy Popular Baby on Bandcamp:
…and you can contact New Canada by the following methods: