Canada’s Arkells are sharing their mix of pop, rock and soul with their Southern neighbors
Arkells may seem like newcomers on the music scene, but the Canadian band has been making records for 10 years, since it self-released its “Deadline” EP in 2007.
The band, a five-piece, named itself after a famous street in its hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, where all five attended McMaster University. In 2008, on Dine Alone Records, they released their first full-length, the breakthrough “Jackson Square” album. That led to a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammys) for best new group in 2010 — their first of several Junos. That then led to a deal with Universal Music Canada, which has released three full-length albums that all made the top 5 on the Canadian charts, including “Morning Report,” released on the Universal subsidiary Last Gang Records in August 2016.
The band’s music bears several influences — mixes of rock, pop, indie-rock, soul and ’80s pop-wave that draw a variety of comparisons. From a review of the “High Noon” album at AllMusic.com: “Both the Springsteen-style stadium rockers and the modern-pop synth bits have been dramatically emphasized to mixed results.”
And in August, Paste magazine said the “Morning Report” album “finds the band taking a step away from their rock ’n’ soul comfort zone and launching into a light pop vibe that sounds like a milder version of Coldplay.”
Arkells have been getting plenty of traction outside Canada, performing at many of the large U.S. festivals, including, most recently, Coachella, letting their neighbors to the south know that they are a veteran, award-winning band that has been around for a decade.
The Arkells perform Saturday, May 6, at the Tank Room as part of Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest. Pageant Boys, Tart and Overcoats are also on the bill.
Middle of the Map tickets
A variety of ticket options are available for Ink’s Middle of the Map Fest, May 4-6: A three-day pass is $75, a three-day VIP pass is $125. A Thursday pass is $20. Friday and Saturday passes: $35 for general admission, $65 for VIP. Jason Isbell and De La Soul headline Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available now at middleofthemapfest.com.