My favorite Winnipeg band is celebrating the release of a new album called Waver this weekend at the West End Cultural Centre. Although I’ve always been a big fan of Royal Canoe’s music their current album strikes a special chord with me. As this feature by Ashley Hampson on the Exclaim website suggests, Waver can be viewed as Royal Canoe’s way of addressing the anxious political climate of the last several years. The music helps listeners ultimately visualize the world as a more hopeful place. Three pieces on Waver inspire that kind of hope for me. Of course I have no idea what the talented Royal Canoe musicians were thinking when they wrote these songs, but good music evokes a meaning and message for each listener in a unique way. Here’s what three of the songs say to me.
RAYZ which has already been released in a thought-provoking and moving video format describes people who are feeling lonely, confused and hopeless. The song compares them to flowers growing higher and higher each day, reaching for the sun and longing to find some light to nurture them and let them flourish . “Pull me up Lord, I’m dying. Time to let the light in.”
In 77-76, the lyrics describe a challenging scenario for our world- night is approaching, strong winds are blowing, a storm is coming, people are blinded. But we can persevere. We can refuse to be divided. We can stay afloat, keep hanging on, stand up for what is right and call out to others. ” Oh we’re going to pull through.”
When I listen to Peep This I am encouraged to do what I can to be there for other people, my family, my friends and those in my community and world who need support. People may wear masks and disguises but we can get past those to truly see one another. “Don’t let me cry -Hold me up, hold me up- Look in my eyes- Stay by my side”
If you’d like to hear Royal Canoe perform their new album in person you can check them out at the West End Cultural Centre this weekend. There will be shows tonight as well as on Saturday and Sunday.