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ARKELLS performs the song "KNOCKING AT THE DOOR" for BalconyTV.
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Emerging at a time when the internet had thoroughly disrupted the way we make, consume, and think about music, the Arkells’ 2008 debut, Jackson Square, inherited the dying-embered torch for a certain old-school, rock ‘n’ roll ethic—and poured a fresh gallon of gasoline on the flame. They came from a notoriously tough industrial outpost—Hamilton, Ontario—armed with songs about punching clocks and punching faces. And though they were spurred into action by the mid-2000s Canadian indie-rock renaissance—back when bands like the Weakerthans, the Constantines and Wolf Parade were channeling punk-fueled passion into anthems for the overeducated and underemployed—the Arkells were also keen students of the classics. They named songs after John Lennon and pinched lines from Elton John, and if you got them drunk enough, they could play you an hour of spot-on Motown covers.
Certainly, Morning Report is the most Arkells’ eclectic album to date, from the piano-pounded, “California Love”-schooled swagger of “Private School” to the devastating, slow-burn ballad “Come Back Home” to the silver-lined break-up song “My Heart’s Always Yours,” the sort of ascendant, blood-pumping anthem you can easily imagine sparking an arena full of waving illuminated smartphones. But if the Arkells have mostly scrubbed away the surface soot of their Hamilton-spawned sound, lyrically, Kerman’s songwriting hits even closer to home.
“A lot of the songs are about me and characters in my life: my friends, my family, my girl,” Kerman says. “I find all those people really compelling and I like writing about them. And a lot of times, they’re songs about what happened the night before. So that’s why it’s called Morning Report: you text your friend the next day and it’s like, ‘Give me the morning report!’”
“This is our weirdest, funniest, saddest record yet,” Kerman concludes. “And therefore, our most honest one, too.”
CREDITS / SPONSORS
Producer//Audio//Camera: John Taylor Nelson
Production// Lake City Sounds https://www.lakecitysounds.com
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