Crown Lands’ new single “Howlin’ Back” is the type of song you’d want to listen to while fighting zombies—or at least while giving yourself a zombie-fighting pep talk. Somehow it feels both crazed and focused, hair-raising and relentless.
“‘Howlin’ Back’ is about the fears that spawn from campfire tales—it’s that tingling feeling of uncertainty when you turn your back to the woods at night,” says lead vocalist / drummer Cody Bowles of the track. “Hard belting juxtaposed with falsetto vocal textures help colour an eerie atmosphere above the relentless drums and slide guitar that give it swagger and make the tune feel like it’s on the verge of derailing.”
The track—featured below with a kaleidoscopic visualizer—is the second single off the Canadian rock duo’s forthcoming debut album, which is expected to be announced later this summer. Like the lead single “Spit It Out,” “Howlin’ Back” is an energetic head-banger that showcases Bowles’ commanding vocals. Guitarist / keyboardist Kevin Comeau delivers athletic performances on both tracks as well.
Just a few months ago, the Ontario band was planning to spend this month supporting Larkin Poe on a major European tour. They would have performed in Barcelona tonight, eventually closing the tour with a homecoming date at Toronto’s Mod Club on June 8. Now the tour has been rescheduled due to COVID-19.
“The last two months have proven to be the most difficult for all of us, and the next few promise to challenge us in new ways,” says Comeau in a statement. “This is an important time to remember that we are all in this together, and we are going through a collective trauma. Although our doors and our borders remain closed, our minds must remain open. We cannot just give up. This is a call to remember that if we take it day by day we will get through this. There is hope. These are strange new days that we have never seen before. We will see the other side of it. We send our love and respect to all of our friends on the front line of this pandemic. The future is uncertain, as it is not written. Let’s get through this together.”
Crown Lands’ debut album follows two breakout EPs—2016’s Mantra and 2017’s Rise Over Run. It will be their first major label release, arriving on Universal Music Canada. The duo ground their teeth in Toronto; cite Rush, Led Zeppelin, and Queen as influences; and see Crown Lands as an inherently political project with indigenous rights at its core.
“The meaning of Crown Lands is steeped in the troublesome history of Canada,” the band explains on Facebook (Bowles is half Mi’kmaq). “Crown Land is stolen land. We are reclaiming it. We are fighting to have the voices of millions of marginalized people heard.”
Watch the “Howlin’ Back” visualizer below, and check out Crown Lands rescheduled tour dates here.
“Howlin’ Back” is out now.