Joey Langlois From What If Elephants Talks New Single “Sugar Daddy”

Kat Harlton

Montreal indie pop group, What If Elephants recently released their new single “Sugar Daddy“. The single was produced by Joey Langlois and Lucas Liberatore and features long time collaborator Maya Malkin, with a co-write by Tokyo Speirs (Walk Off the Earth).

We had the opportunity to chat with singer/guitarist Joey Langlois about the inspiration behind the single, what he hopes fans take from the track, and what’s next.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new single “Sugar Daddy”?

Joey: For sure! I wrote it because finances have been tight here and there, and to correct that situation, it often means trading your time for money in extra hours or another job. What that also does, is it gives you less time to invest into the relationships that are important to you. This can put stress on the relationship, and it’s easy to lose track of your priorities in the mix, so it’s like a commitment to keep that special person first.

Kat: What do you hope fans take away from the track? 

Joey: We hope this song breathes a little hope into their situations that could very well be quite difficult, not only financially, but in other ways too – and that they’d find time to connect with the people they love through it all.

Kat: The band were finalists in RBC’s Canada Walk of Fame Emerging Musician Program in 2018 and have also been CBC Searchlight finalists four times with tracks including ‘Candles’ and ‘Middle Ground’ from your 2015 debut EP, Getaway. You’ve also toured extensively on your own and with artists such as Milk & Bone, Port Cities, Monowhales, and Flara K. What have you learned from these experiences? What has been a highlight so far?

Joey: I know all of us have learned so much. For sure, it matters a lot how each person on tour gets along. We feel super lucky that we really enjoy travelling together because it takes up a majority of the time, especially in Canada. Being extra prepared is always good. Don’t forget your guitar at home or in the previous city (someone may or may not have done that).

One of our favourite experiences together was Beau’s Oktoberfest, playing the same stage as Neon Dreams and Birds of Bellwoods. We got to hang out the whole day, their team took awesome care of us, and we played to such a great audience. Even the car ride home was hyped. There are just those days that are magical.

Kat: How have you been staying connected during Covid-19? Has it affected your creative process at all?

Joey: Like most people, there have been plenty of Zoom calls. We’ve done calls to catch up, do planning, run recording sessions, writing sessions, etc… There was a sliver of time where we were able to hang out outdoors at a distance during the summer, and it flashed by.

Typically, we would jam new song ideas a few times before jumping into production. This year, we had to skip that step, but aside from that, most of the studio process was still quite similar aside from running remote sessions. A lot more songwriting was done virtually as well.

Kat: What’s next?

Joey: We’re very excited to release the rest of Relationship Status, our collection of songs documenting phases of a relationship. We have a lot of ambitious visuals we’re preparing to promote the tracks with as well. We hope to be able to do some full band live performances soon. We’ve been in lockdown since October which hasn’t permitted much in that arena.

Since we finished the upcoming releases, we’ve been itching to start writing again. I’d love to do something a little more directly narrative. Not sure how to approach that yet, but I really like the idea of something bridging on to a short film vibe. It’s something we’ve never done before and we do like to create grand cinematic imagery with our music. We’ll see.

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