Winter nights in New York can be so barrenly cold and unforgiving. Monday night happened to be one of those nights where you just have to suck it up and struggle your way to the bar to claim your reward. It also happened to be a night where one of New York’s best emerging and original sounding indie-pop bands- Canon Logic, were celebrating the release of their second full-length album, WYLD. Once I warmed up, I took a break from enjoying Brooklyn Lagers to talk with some of the guys of the band. We found solace in a hallway to actually hear one another in the packed Pianos, a staple in the LES music scene. Even on a brisk Monday night the venue had a sizable crowd, most of which were there to see Canon Logic play the last show of their month-long residency at Pianos.
With the band’s sophomore effort arriving in with plenty of momentum, the members of Canon Logic feel they’ve progressed as musicians and songwriters at the same time their songs have. Guitarist Mark Alu, drummer Zach Gordon, and Frontman/pianist Tim Kiely all chimed in on how they felt the band has grown in the 4 years since 2010’s FM Arcade.
“There’s a lot more patience this time around…” Mark quickly pointed out. “I think we felt a lot of pressure on the first (album) and just wanted to get it out, and with this one we definitely let ideas develop more. It’s more collaborative and there’s definitely more maturity to it”.
That patience and maturity has enabled the band to add elements to each song throughout the album that give it a very bold and unique personality. Tim’s ability to add beautiful melodies and crowd-involving chants fit perfectly over impressive lead guitar parts brought forth by a very talented and very energetic Josh Greenfield. His delay and effects driven style is evident in ‘IBOK’, ‘Crocodile’, and ‘Mountain’, all hit-single worthy songs. In face the band released ‘Mountain’, ‘IBOK’, and ‘Crocodile’ well before the album release. All three came with well produced, thematic music videos that captured the story each song is trying to tell. So why not just keep releasing singles with more great music videos that add for a great marketing accompaniment?
“With WYLD, all 9 songs are coming from the same place and all work together as a unit. These stitch together really well… It’s a journey from front to back” Mark added. “They could easily could be nine singles, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be listened to together as a whole”.
That being said, they band does indeed plan on releasing a music video for each song on the album.
Canon Logic has been able to bring in a crowd on chilly Monday nights throughout their month-long Pianos residency. Not surprising for a band that just last summer played a sold out show at SubCulture, an underground venue in NoHo, which featured the band playing a headlining set in the middle of the audience floor surrounded by a few hundred fans. Pretty routine for a band that has gotten used to bringing dozens of beautiful girls to crowd the front of the stage to dance along with exuberant lead guitarist and sing along with the smooth and calming vocals of Kiely. Those signature vocals are most evident on the lone ballad on the album, The U2 sounding ‘Carry The Water’, a hidden gem on the album.
There is a diversity that runs through the nine songs, with roots that sink deep through each member’s musical taste and personal interests. Drummer Zach Gordon sounded off on how he thought each of their own musical preferences helped create the WYLD.
“With the different Influences all five of us have, there are five different go-to musical styles of what we’re listening to all the time. All of us listening to different music and giving each other different albums to listen to definitely influenced this album in itself. What I wouldn’t listen to normally, Mark will send to me music I would never think to listen to, but he’ll tell me ‘this is the sound I’m going for with this song’, and I’ll appreciate the shit out of it!”
Canon Logic is not your typical sounding rock band. Which is great- New York’s already got too many of those. What they are is the essence of originality and musical innovation that keeps New York’s music scene balanced. If you mix The Killers, FUN., and some 80s synth sounds of Toto, you’d have Canon Logic- a successful mix of brilliant guitar playing, meaningful song lyrics, and fun rhythms that should keep the girls dancing at the foot of the stage for years to come.
Article by Tom Shackleford