Photos: Kate Dockery
Toronto based alt-rock group Birds of Bellwoods are back with their hotly anticipated sophomore studio album, Everything You Want. This project finds the band leaning into the raucous nature of their live shows; anthemic choruses, fast and dirty intertwining guitars, and dreamy synth textures all combine to compliment their signature rich vocal harmonies.
Produced by 2-time Grammy Award-winner Dave Schiffman (Vampire Weekend, Haim, PUP), the work combines foundations of 2000s alternative with new school indie-pop. Everything You Want is at once bold, hopeful, and irreverent.
The first single from the new album, “One By One” is an unabashed call to action. Launched with the question, “Whatever happened to the empire state / a livable wage / or just a job that pays,” the song roars with gigantic hooks and unapologetically infectious riffs. It’s living in the new fall of Rome. The last gasp of a dying empire and the birth of a new era.
Since their 2018 release, Victoria, Birds of Bellwoods’ music has topped Spotify’s Canada Viral 50 Chart, and held a place in the top 40 of Canadian Alternative for over 30 weeks. It has brought them several domestic and international awards and nominations, as well as performances at top-tier festivals such as Osheaga and Festival D’été. In 2019 the group embarked on a cross-Canada arena tour opening for world-renowned Olympic athletes Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue, performing to over 100,000 people across the country.
I had the opportunity to chat with band about their upcoming album, their creative process, and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest album “Everything You Want”?
Birds Of Bellwoods: Everything You Want was recorded over the span of two years, so the inspiration came from many places. Sometimes it’s the end of a relationship, sometimes it’s the crumbling empire in which we find ourselves, sometimes it’s the trials of the music industry itself.
But the overall arc of the album is a journey through self doubt, regret, and frustration and toward hope and light. It’s about facing your demons and accepting the beauty in your fractures and imperfections – making them your superpower. A kind of musical Kintsugi.
Kat: What do you hope fans connect with on the album?
Birds Of Bellwoods: We hope that fans can hear us bring our anxieties into the spotlight and feel less afraid to do that themselves. That they’ll find themselves less alone in that journey of self discovery and personal growth.
And honestly we just hope they have a great time dancing and singing along. The sound is BIG and SHINY.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
Birds Of Bellwoods: Right now I think we’d say the waiting. Once you create the song it goes through an immense process of refinement, then you schedule the actual production and recording, then mixing, then mastering, then a release plan, then a video treatment… there’s a lot of steps. By the time you get to the release it can feel a little like the moment already passed, especially if there’s something new that is percolating. But you know. Great things take time.
Also having to juggle a CONSISTENT social media presence has become daunting af. Supposedly we have to spend as much time making tik toks as writing music to stay ‘relevant’.
The attention span of our world seems shorter and shorter every day.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way
Birds Of Bellwoods: The arena tour we opened in late 2019 was incredible. We got to play our music for over 100,000 Canadians from coast to coast, as well as make and meet some of our biggest fans. It was a real moment of arrival. We became the band we always knew we could be.
Along the way we’ve learned… how to play our instruments? A bit? We’ve also learned at the end of the day the only people you have in your corner is whoever is in the tour van, and whoever’s buying tickets. Honestly there’s too many lessons to list.
Kat: What’s next?
Birds Of Bellwoods: We have a show coming up in Toronto on June 11th that we are SO excited for – headlining The Phoenix for CMW with some really amazing support. Tickets are on sale now – find them here along with a steaming link to our latest single One by One: https://lnk.to/1by1
After that you can expect a few more singles with associated ‘cOnTeNt’ before the album drops.
And then we take the world!
To Connect With Birds Of Bellwoods visit: http://www.birdsofbellwoods.com