Columnist Victoria Abraham defines one artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles The Arkells, a rock band from Hamilton, Ontario.
It’s JUNO week baby, so in light of all the Canada lovin’ that will go down on April 1, this week’s column is devoted to The Arkells. This round, they’re nominated for “Group of the Year.” The band will also perform at Montreal’s Osheaga this August.
Origins: Hamilton, Ontario
Known for: The Arkells are known for their foot stomping, heart pounding, hands in the air, sing along performances. Their second album, Michigan Left, combines the sounds of Bruce Springsteen, Spoon, and Hall & Oates, aka they’re a smorgasbord of awesomeness.
Used in a sentence: “The Arkells rescued Canadian rock from the dark days of Nickelback.”
File next to: Cage the Elephant
Download now: Listen to “Michigan Left” and be prepared to have your mind blown.
Listen to it here:
Notable lyrics: The Arkells sing about song writing and inspiration in their newest single, “Whistleblower.”
“Words, they keep dropping/ They keep spilling from my hands on to paper/ I’m in Virginia/ It’s 3am and I can’t fall asleep/ Just a little bit of faith is what I want/ It’s what I need in my institutions/ So I wait, so patiently…/ But when it happens, over and over…/ Can we hear it for the whistleblower?”
Listen to it here:
Fun facts: In 2006, The Arkells were signed with Dine Alone Records, the label of other Canadian artists such as Alexisonfire, and City and Colour.
The band did a popular cover of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” with Kesha and Shad at the Much Music Video Awards in 2010. The next year, Dan Griffin announced he would be leaving the band temporarily to go back to school so Anthony Carone has replaced him for the time being.
Career highlights: Their debut album called Jackson Square earned the band a top 10 Canadian rock radio hit with “Oh, the Boss is Coming!” This same hit led to them winning “New Band of the Year” at the 2010 JUNO Awards.
In 2011, CBC Radio 3 named The Arkells “best live act.”