Alberta alt-pop group The Royal Foundry are set to release their debut album, Lost in Your Head, on Aug. 15, with a special CD release show to be held at The Needle Vinyl Tavern in Edmonton on Aug. 24.
Jared Salte and Bethany Schumacher are the creative core of the band, and have compiled a collection of 13 songs that are not only eminently accessible for music lovers across a truly wide swathe of genres, but songs that are infused with emotional depth and complexity, with lyrics that are elegantly heartfelt and honest.
Formed initially as a folk duo in 2013, Salte and Schumacher enjoyed some success with their acoustic duo shows and released an independent CD. But both felt that there was more they had to say, both musically and lyrically, and so began a significant revitalization and revision of their sound, incorporating elements of 1990s Brit-Pop lush production values, with the power-pop stylings of groups such as Arcade Fire, but with a healthy dash old-school, 1970s progressive rock such as the intricate melodies of Yes and Supertramp. And the intimacy of the music and the interplay between Salte and Schumacher’s vocals may also be reminiscent to some of The Civil Wars or Whitehorse.
The song Running Away was penned by Salte and Schumacher not long after getting married, It ended up becoming a pivotal career move as it was indicative of the direction in which the pair’s music was heading.
“It was the one that really started the whole switch of genre and it came to us when were just beginning to play around with synthesizer sounds and found a patch that sounded really cool. While we were writing it we didn’t think it fit because we were still basically a folk duo. But then we decided to enter the Peak Performance contest in Alberta, just to see how our music stacked up and we ended up coming in second place, winning $75,000. That song convinced us to shift our sound to where we are today,” explained Salte.
The band’s latest singe/video, All We Have was an even earlier song, one that appeared on their folk album, but which both Salte and Schumacher believed could be adapted to the new, electronic alternative pop sound that has become The Royal Foundry’s trademark.
“We wanted to revisit it because we really liked the melody and the flow of it, so we grabbed all the stems of the previous version and started messing around with it, almost treating it like a remix. Then we also recut new vocals. The song itself, even in its early form, is very joyful and happy because that’s where we were at the time as newlyweds. It’s that powerful moment when you know you’re with the person you’re supposed to be with for the rest of your life and the person who makes you feel whole, finally. And I think that feeling carries through in both the words and the music,” said Salte.
The rise to prominence has seemed rapid for The Royal Foundry, but it has been well earned. Obvious talent as songwriters, combined with an infectiously upbeat live show and a prodigious work ethic has been its own reward. Dreamers got national attention when the band played live for a World Cup of Hockey event in Toronto in 2016, and has also been used by Disney to represent one of their fashion lines. Running Away was played on radio stations across Canada and was used on TSN as the opening tune for their CFL broadcasts.
At festivals, The Royal Foundry has shared billing with the likes of the Rural Alberta Advantage, The Strumbellas, July Talk and 21 Pilots. In the summer of 2017 they also landed a prestigious opening slot for Rachel Platten in Chicago and were embarking on a number of showcases in Nashville.
“It’s been a great experience so far. We have some lofty goals and we really want to meet those goals but we’re still fairly new in this career that we have chosen. We’re continually surprised by the recognition we get and the opportunities we are getting too – it’s been a complete blessing. All of it has been an encouragement and what has fueled us to keep pushing onward,” said Schumacher.
“But at the end of the day we’re happy to be able to say we’re musicians and make music and we are excited to give our music to other people and hear about the impact it has in their lives. That, to us, is more rewarding than anything else.”
This fall, the band is planning a short tour of western Canada, starting in Rossland B.C. Oct. 5 and ending in Regina on Oct. 20.
For more information on the band, Lost in Your Head and forthcoming tour dates, visit www.theroyalfoundry.com.
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