Band Photo: Jess Bishop
In January this year the band suffered an unimaginable loss with the sudden passing of beloved band member Koady Chaisson. The new music has Koady’s musical footprint on it as the band were well into the new EP sessions just prior to his untimely death.
The new single is a real departure from the band’s previous body of work and showcases their undeniable musical chops and reminds listeners that they are stronger than they think even when times get tough. Written by Tim Chaisson, Jake Charron, Koady Chaisson, and Colin MacDonald and produced by Derek Hoffman (Arkells, The Trews, Silverstein), the upbeat and decidedly folk / pop tune (with barely a fiddle in earshot!) is on track to reach a wider audience and add to the impressive 20 million career streams they have amassed to date.
Since forming in 2014, the band has continued to be furiously energetic, musically complex and technically brilliant and now a family grounding as the seventh generations of traditional Prince Edward Island and Ontario-based Celtic players and writers have effortlessly parlayed into the folk-pop arena.
Gaining international recognition as musical trailblazers, the band has continued to rise to success, after releasing their debut album Secret Victory in late 2015 and performing in Canada, the United States and Australia. The band have also received achievements including a JUNO Award for Traditional Roots Album of the Year in 2017 for Secret Victory, the Canadian Folk Music Award for Ensemble of the Year at the 12th Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2016, and nominations for Instrumental Group of the Year and Canadian Folk Music Award as Ensemble of the Year again in 2018.
The multi-award-winning band are back on the road with new music (and a new sound) from their forthcoming EP, as well as a back catalogue of the off-the-hook tunes and anthemic songs that have made them festival favourites over the years.
I had the opportunity to chat with Jake Charron about the band’s new single, what they hope fans connect with on the track, and what’s next.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your new single “Stronger Than You Know”?
Jake: The inspiration for “Stronger Than You Know” came from an epic winter storm that hit Koady’s house on the Eastern shore of Prince Edward Island. We wrote this song a few days later with Colin MacDonald, and talked about battening down the hatches when life throws a storm at you (Koady literally had to nail a 2×4 across his door). We were thinking about everyone around the world suddenly dealing with different situations during a pandemic, and the struggles of mental health.
Kat: What do you hope fans connect with on the new song?
Jake: We hope that it may lead to impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, car, or wherever you are! We wanted it to feel good, make you feel good, and help you find that inner strength if you need it.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
Jake: Sitting down to do it. Life gets busy, but we really made a point over these last two years to schedule writing sessions, and sit down as a band to create music. What’s that Gretzky quote?.. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”? Yep, we’re going to apply that to songwriting as well, thanks Wayne. Not all ideas are sure winners, but you need to get those out as well, and who knows where they will lead to.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
Jake: Summer festivals are always highlights. Nothing better than a whole lot of different people in the same space, loving life and grooving along to music. We’ve been lucky to play some really great ones. The Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia stands out as a pretty special experience. Still learning as I go here, but I’d say do your best to avoid eating a large curry, or entire pizza, before going on stage.
Kat: What can we expect from you for the balance of 2022?
Jake: We have some more songs coming out over the next few months. We’ve been in the studio a lot this year, and can’t wait to share the new music.
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