“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”John Cage, American composer and music theorist
Crown Lands’ Cody Bowles (Vocals/Drums) & Kevin Comeau (Guitars/Bass/Synths), have decided it’s time. Time to “jump in and explore new ideas, textures, and inspirations.”
The Canadian psych blues-rock powerhouse, have just recently released Wayward Flyers Vol. 1. A 5-song acoustic EP influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley, and Led Zeppelin, among others. The EP features four originals alongside a cover of Neil Young’s “Birds,” from his classic 1970 album, After the Gold Rush.
“This EP is a side of Crown Lands, we haven’t shown before,” explains the duo. “We wanted to get in touch with the core of our songwriting through this record.” Much like the period of great change were experiencing in the world around us, the band hopes this more intimate/softer side of musicianship can “become the soundtrack of this time and inspire people to do good.”
Send in the wolves! Cody and Kevin are “Howling Back Again.” A stripped-down version of their recently released single, “Howling Back,” this opening track sets the tone for what they consider to be their “own little Zep III vibe,” catapulting the listener into a world of hollowed forest and endless ocean.
“Roving On” sustains the upbeat tempo of the record, with a masterful plucking of the guitar followed by some bass drum and clapping to round out the song.
As if being echoed through a vacant hallway, “The Witching Hour” tells a tale inspired by the Salem Witch Trials. “About how men in power used the pretense of religion and superstition to murder and oppress innocent yet intelligent women.” says the band. “The “new world” at the time was founded in genocide and slavery. Let the world they built burn. It is time for a shift towards radical compassion.” A timely song reminds us to be there for one another in a time of uncertainty.
Staying true to their Canadian roots, Crown Lands cover “Birds,” a song written and recorded by legendary folk-rock singer/songwriter Neil Young. Bowles’ vocals soar through wavy acoustics, painting a world of beautiful imagery. A nod of thanks to one of Canada’s greats.
Closing out the EP is “No Sympathy.” A harmonizing balance of soft vocals and engaging melodies, Crown Lands proves song after song, they can rock with the best of them. “You shouldn’t be afraid of pushing yourself in new directions,” says the duo. “We hope that this EP is a light for those going through what is the darkest period many people will go through in their lifetime.”
A name indicative of the duo’s momentous ambitions, “Crown Land” is a territorial area belonging to the monarch or, as Bowles (whose own heritage is half Mi’kmaq) puts it, “Crown Land” is stolen land and we are reclaiming it.” I’d say (at the very least), this EP is a step in the right direction. Crown Lands has dominated the Canadian music industry since their formation in 2016 and will continue to do so, by pushing back the boundaries and doing away with limitations. Crowns fit for two rock n’ roll kings.
Listen to their latest EP below: