Married couple Jared Salte and Bethany Schumacher make up the core of Edmonton’s alt-pop band The Royal Foundry. Together the pair deliver synth-infused, catchy and upbeat indie-rock tracks comparable to the sounds of Coldplay and Arcade Fire.

Following the September release of their latest album – Wakeup Wakeup, The Royal Foundry returns with an animated music video and single for their dreamy indie-rock tune "okay?" The imaginative video was created in collaboration with Hudson Munshaw – a talented animator based in Calgary, to tell the story of two Astronauts in Space falling apart and ultimately being separated on two worlds. 

Salte and Schumacher will be sharing the new single and more on May 7th at 6:00PM (EDT) as a part of The National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms – a series of live streams to bring artists and fans together during this time of social distancing. Inspired by John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace, they will be performing their new single and more.

In the near future, we can look forward to a continuation of the astronauts’ story in the form of a comic book, tour dates and more music but for now, we are left with a wicked new song and visuals and some few words of advice to get us through these trying times:

“A lot of creativity and depth is birthed from trying/weird times. Take what life gives you and turn it into art.” 

Q: How would you describe your band and your sound to new listeners? 

The Royal Foundry is a mix of anthemic melodies akin to Arcade Fire, with hints of classic rhythms of Bruce Springsteen and pop influences of Coldplay with indie elements at it’s core.

Q: Your newest song is titled "okay?" Can you give us a little insight behind the lyrical and musical vision? 

When we wrote this song, last spring, it came from a very personal season in our lives. At the time where we were in the midst of chaos in our lives, a mix of bad and good, and not knowing the outcome or how we would get there, this song became a sort of mantra. Something that we would tell ourselves, something that we would know would soon be able to look back at and see that things we're going to be okay…?  Adding the '?' at the end was also just a relatable ‘point’, because as we all know, there is always doubt with what the unknown outcome can be. The dichotomy of Hope and Doubt.

Q: For the "okay?" music video, you chose to take an animated approach. What inspired you to do this?

It was always our desire to want to be involved in a project that had a graphic novel element. We love a good graphic novel and the style of it. This past summer, we reconnected with a friend that happened to just finish animating school and was up for the challenge of not only making an animated video (for the first time), but creating a printed graphic novel as well to go with it. It was really just great timing!

Q: Where did the idea of two Astronauts falling apart come from? Was the story inspired by any real-life events or ideas?

I think in a lot of ways yes – but it wasn’t the initial idea. We wanted to create a storyline that started with struggle. Something bad happens and the characters don’t know what the outcome will be. Both find themselves on their own personal struggle to get out of their mess and back to each other. Will this be a fairly tale ending? Leaving the video off on a ‘cliffhanger’ further cements the '?' in the title.

Q: The story is set to pick up where the music video left off, in the form of a comic book. How did this unique idea come about?

Hudson Munshaw – the animator, has such a unique artistry that we knew we couldn’t just squeeze a storyline into 3 1/2 minutes. So we thought we would create an intro to the song, to give some more time for the story. But that just gave more "space" to set the scene and kick off the video. We loved the direction of the storyline and loved the possibility of where it could continue, so we couldn’t stop it. Being graphic novel lovers, it just felt right to explore that medium.

Q: Following the release of your new single and video, you will be performing on NAC’s #CanadaPerforms live stream. What can we expect? 

Nervousness? We’ve never been too good at staring at ourselves on our phones pretending to connect/talk to people – which is exactly what we will be trying to do during the live stream. It will be awkward. We will be awkward. But it will be the most vulnerable and acoustic-y we’ve ever been – all set in our bed, inspired by Bed-In For Peace. I know it’s hard for people to tune in for the duration of the stream, but this is such a unique time that we are all going through, and we want to share some personal insights on our music that we’ve never shared before to make this time as enlightening as we can. We are excited to just experience a live stream for the first time and honestly just play our songs live for people….we miss it!

Q: Inspired by John Lennon and Yoke Ono’s Bed-In For Peace, can you offer any advice or words of encouragement to other artists and fans in these trying times?

I think a lot of creativity and depth is birthed from trying/weird times. Take what life gives you and turn it into art. Maybe some of it will see the light of day, but most of it will be for you and you alone. There is always something new, some different perspective or some enlightening moment waiting around the corner, if you exercise your creative mind to search for it.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

I think that is it! Thanks so much for these great questions – its always a plus! The NAC live stream will be held Thursday, May 7, 6pm EST/4pm MST on Facebook and Instagram Live.