Royal Canoe
"Living a Lie"

by Jim Di Gioia

August 10, 2016

Royal Canoe, Winnipeg MB

Jaclyn Campanaro

Spending a night in the studio with Royal Canoe would be fun. Or absolutely terrifying, I haven’t yet decided which. I say fun because by all accounts, the Winnipeg based sextet’s sonic adventurousness knows no bounds. “Living a Lie” is a deeply funky digital experiment, mutating and morphing right before your ears. It’s terrifying for pretty much the same reason; only the most brilliantly demented masterminds to ever set foot in a studio could conjure a song this wickedly inventive.

Royal Canoe add wildly flatulent organ wails to a stuttering beat in a slow, controlled drip. Like mad scientists, they eye their concoction for the point when the combined chemicals react. The flashpoint comes three-quarters through “Living a Lie”, sending sparks flying, singeing eyebrows, and flinging sound samples through the air, busting down walls and blowing out windows.

They’re calling their new album Something Got Lost Between Here And The Orbit. On “Living a Lie”, the only thing that sounds lost is Royal Canoe’s musical inhibitions (if they ever had any in the first place). I’m genuinely in awe of, and utterly petrified at how daring and dazzling they sound right now.

Jim Di Gioia

Jim founded the music blog Quick Before It Melts in 2006 and was its principal writer until 2016, when its decade-long run ended 10 years to the day it started. DOMINIONATED is its spiritual successor. Jim currently serves as a Polaris Music Prize jurist and Prism Prize jurist.
Jim Di Gioia

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