Following an unrelenting wave of new music this summer, today powerhouse Canadian rock duo Crown Lands unveil their self-titled debut album with Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Crown Lands is available now to stream and download across all platforms with a limited-edition custom vinyl available for pre-order here. The stunning 12-inch record features art designed by Bruno Borges and stays true to the Crown Lands aesthetic; “a reflection of the world we live in, but bent through a heightened, psychedelic otherworldly lens. The colour palette is meant to reflect the sonic palette of the album: warm, inviting, nostalgic. Grand landscapes are what we live for – we spend as much time communing with nature as possible, and it comes out on our work,” describes lead singer and drummer Cody Bowles.
Crown Lands’ debut record arrives alongside the ferocious video for the album’s lead single “Leadfoot”. On the track itself, Comeau interprets, “’Leadfoot’ started as a cautionary tale about speeding but quickly became some sort of song about interstellar love. Lots of space and nature imagery keep the song from touching down into reality but the music is quite rooted in blues and glam rock. Is it about aliens? Is it about cars? Is it about aliens driving cars? Maybe. Either way, it’s a lot of fun to play.”
Directed by Blake Mawson, who is known for his work with Orville Peck, the video for “Leadfoot” showcases the majestic rock stars in electrifying glory and brings the thunderous track to life. Bowles expands, “We wanted to get really ambitious and weird with this one, and Blake’s vision was perfect for what we wanted. It was the first post-COVID shoot for everyone involved, so that was interesting to work with those restrictions, but everyone was so happy to be back to work and eager to do a great job. On set we had this whole warehouse studio booked and subdivided into different sets for the corresponding scenes in the video. My favourite moment would have to be when I was in the blue box room with the TV. It was this little cramped room setup where they told me to play with the space between myself and the fisheye lens, so I kinda went wild with it and of course I thoroughly enjoyed that, aha!”
Crown Lands was recorded in the iconic RCA Studio A in Nashville and produced by six-time Grammy winner Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Chris Stapleton). On the album, Kevin Comeau (guitar, keys) explains, “the record is a culmination of five years of work. We started Crown Lands in 2015 with the view to put out a cohesive body of work. We have finally done that! We started writing this record last year after touring with Primus and Jack White. We took that influence and ran with it. When we met Dave we knew he had to be the guy to make this record with us. We loved his organic, live-off-the-floor approach and the desire to capture a real performance. He pushed us way out of our comfort zones and I think I’m ultimately a better guitarist for it. He’s a masterful arranger and we spent a lot of time on the Mellotron arrangements on the record. I love the retro yet timeless quality of the sonics on the record. It captures us as we are – two music nerds obsessed with prog rock of old, but with a desire to bring those sounds into modern song writing.”
After meeting six years ago and bonding over their shared love of music, Bowles and Comeau became “instant best friends” and started jamming together in a local barn, switching up instruments, but never straying from a two-piece set-up. Crown Lands have released two EPs Mantra (2016) and Rise Over Run (2017). Making music that brings together a range of influences from folk and blues to psychedelic to prog rock and drawing on their own intense personal chemistry, Crown Lands are a startlingly fresh jolt of energy.
The group’s name is indicative of their musical ambitions: “Crown Land” is territorial area belonging to the monarch—or, as Bowles puts it: “Crown Land is stolen land and we are reclaiming it.” Crown Lands are on a mission to represent a sense of empowerment for marginalized communities through their music and the weighty subject matter of their lyrics. “People are going to listen to you, so you may as well say something that matters,” says Comeau.