Photo by: Travis Shinn
Powerhouse Canadian rock duo Crown Lands share their latest track, “Howlin’ Back” through Universal Music Canada. Guitarist Kevin Comeau describes, “this is a dark blues romper that owes its occult imagery to our fascination with the woods. It’s the most unapologetically blues-based song we’ve ever recorded.” Produced by the legendary Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Rival Sons) “Howlin’ Back” follows the release of “Spit It Out” and is the second single from Crown Lands’ upcoming debut album which is set to be announced this summer.

American Songwriter premiered the visualizer released alongside the track today. The kaleidoscopic moving graphic blends natural elements with waves of abstract to amplify every note. Check out the American Songwriter premiere here.

Illustrating the vision behind the music and lyrics, lead vocalist and drummer Cody Bowles explains,

“’Howlin’ Back’ is about the fears that spawn from campfire tales, it’s that tingling feeling of uncertainty when you turn your back to the woods at night. Hard belting juxtaposed with falsetto vocal textures help colour an eerie atmosphere above the relentless drums and slide guitar that give it swagger and make the tune feel like it’s on the verge of derailing.”

Known for their energetic live shows, Crown Lands spent the early part of their career performing; starting by booking themselves shows across southwestern Ontario and then landing opening slots for major rock acts like Jack White, Primus and Rival Sons. Like many bands, Crown Lands were challenged by the global pandemic, having to postpone their support slot across Europe with Grammy award-nominated sister duo Larkin Poe as well as their homecoming headlining show in Toronto. Crown Lands remain positive while they wait for the day they can play to fans again, Comeau commenting, “This is an important time to remember that we are all in this together, and we are going through a collective trauma. Although our doors and our borders remain closed, our minds must remain open.

After meeting six years ago and bonding over their shared obsession with Rush, Bowles and Comeau became “instant best friends” and started jamming together in a local barn, switching up instruments, but never straying from a two-piece set-up. Crown Lands have released two EPs Mantra (2016) and Rise Over Run (2017). Making music that brings together a range of influences from folk and blues to psychedelic to prog rock, and drawing on their own intense personal chemistry, Crown Lands are a startlingly fresh jolt of energy.

The group’s name is indicative of their musical ambitions: “Crown Land” is territorial area belonging to the monarch—or, as Bowles (whose own heritage is half Mi’kmaq, an indigenous tribe from Nova Scotia) puts it, “Crown Land is stolen land and we are reclaiming it.” Crown Lands are on a mission to represent a sense of empowerment for marginalized communities through their music and the weighty subject matter of their lyrics. “People are going to listen to you, so you may as well say something that matters,” says Comeau.

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