Arkells Release First Video From New Album, Announce St. Lucia Tour Dates
Arkells release their video for the song "Relentless" today via Last Gang Records. Premiering today via Billboard , "Relentless" was directed by trusted collaborator and iHeartRadio MMVA winner Mark Myers ("Knocking At The Door," "Drake's Dad"). The cinematic video places the band in surreal and dream-like circumstances bringing a new curious dimension to the anthemic lead single.
"Most songs illicit some immediate visual cues," explains frontman Max Kerman. "For a song like 'Relentless,' we knew a few things: we wanted it to be night time. We wanted it to be somewhat mysterious. And we wanted it to be a little strange.
"Musically, the song itself is somewhat of a departure for us so we wanted the video to look and feel different from our other videos," he continues. "Those were the general conversations we had with Mark. He took those ideas and cooked up something we wouldn't have been able to articulate on paper. He said, 'In the darkness, you're chasing for the light.' 'Relentless' is about that."
"Relentless" is the lead single off Arkells' forthcoming album Rally Cry, set for release October 19. Having been released just two weeks ago, the single is already the most added track on Canadian alternative and rock radio and continues its steady ascent to the top 10.
The story of "Relentless" mixes both a new direction in songwriting for the band, plus a fond and heartfelt story, as previously told by frontman, Max Kerman:
"My dad showed me this South African artist named Chicco and this tune of his with this afro-pop, keyboard driven, epic, cinematic groove. We were so inspired by it, we ended up sampling a track for the first time and worked collectively to build a tune around it. Rock bands aren't as known to dip their toe into the sample world, but in 2018 we're game to throw all conventional rules out the window. It became the band's favorite demo while recording but didn't have a chorus yet - beyond the word 'Relentless.'"
While on tour last fall, Kerman and lead-guitarist Mike DeAngelis went out for a beer with Paul Langlois of The Tragically Hip, before Arkells' Kingston show. "We talked a lot about being in a band that day. We talked a lot about Gord, and how much Paul adored him.
"There was one anecdote that we all got a chuckle from," reveals Kerman:
"He said that even when Gord was sick and was going through treatment, he'd say to Paul 'we made a record right, and we're gonna tour it right?' Mike D. laughed and added 'lead singers man, they never want to stop eh?' To which Paul responded: 'Ever since I knew him, he was relentless. Like a dog on a bone.' And that old expression hit me - there was our chorus.
"And then I was thinking about the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself," Kerman says. "I was thinking about the band, and how we lean on each other, and how each guy brings something different, but contributes to a larger idea. We find strength in each other. In being relentless."
Fans can currently pre-order Rally Cry, which was produced by Eric Ratz ("Knocking At The Door," "Leather Jacket"), mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Fleetwood Mac) and mastered by Greg Calbi (Arcade Fire, Kacy Musgraves).
In addition to the first single, "Relentless," and the politically charged, summer-groove tune, "People's Champ," fans will get a third taste of Rally Cry tonight, as the band releases "Only For A Moment" - a true to form Arkells classic, ripe with heartfelt storytelling, that is destined to be a live-show favorite . All three songs will be available as instant-grat tracks, from the 10-song studio album.
Regularly credited as one of the hardest working bands (period), Arkells have stayed ever-present, relentlessly touring in support of their 2016 Canadian gold-certified release Morning Report, which was extended by the surprise release of "Knocking At The Door" - the 14-week #1 smash, which became the most played alt-rock song of the year in Canada.
The cycle included festival stops from Coachella to Lollapalooza, career first television appearances at the iHeartRadioMMVAs and NHL Awards, plus a surprise viral trip to the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. As Kerman says: "On our last album, Morning Report, we dipped our toes into the water, and learned that the boldest and most gratifying ideas were the ones where we took the biggest chances. That record emboldened us and gave us confidence to trust our instincts even more. On Rally Cry, we've risen to the challenge and we're playing for keeps. We can't wait to share it and play it live."
# # #
ARKELLS ON TOUR
Oct 12 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
Oct 12 - Austin, TX - Antone's (Austin City Limits Festival late night show)
Oct 21 - Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom w/St. Lucia
Oct 23 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre w/St. Lucia
Oct 25 - Oklahoma, OK - The Jones Assembly w/St. Lucia
Oct 26 - Dallas, TX - Canton Hall w/St. Lucia
Oct 28 - Houston, TX - White Oaks Music Hall - Inside Downstairs w/St. Lucia
Oct 30 - Nashville, TN - The Cowan w/St. Lucia
Oct 31 - Atlanta, GA - Center Stage w/St. Lucia
Nov 2 - Charlotte, NC - The Underground - Charlotte w/St. Lucia
Nov 5 - Washington, DC - 930 Club w/St. Lucia
Nov 7 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts w/St. Lucia
Nov 10 - Asbury Park, NJ - Asbury Lanes w/St. Lucia
Nov 11 - New Haven, CT - Toad's Place w/St. Lucia
Nov 12 - Boston, MA - Royale Nightclub w/St. Lucia
Nov 16 - Nov 29 - UK/GER Headline Tour