Arkells

Story

“It’s a weird time to be a rock band right now,” observes Max Kerman, the singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter for the Arkells. “I just feel like rock has gotten so conservative and doesn’t know where to go. To be honest, I don’t really listen to a lot of rock music right now.”

That’s not a radical statement for your average twenty-something in this EDM-dominated era, but it’s a bit surprising coming from a guitar-slinging guy whose band seemingly personifies a certain old-school, ethic. Hailing from the gritty industrial outpost of Hamilton, Ontario, the Arkells have notched four Juno Awards and a gold record on their sweat-rusted belts, proving there’s still a place for passionate, no-bullshit rock ‘n’ soul in the mainstream. (In 2015, they were the most-played band on Canadian alt-rock radio.) But the group’s new album, Morning Report, betrays a more irreverent, adventurous ethos that more readily recalls the cut-and-paste approach of hip-hop beatmakers than the plug-and-play attack of a live rock band, with click-tracked rhythms, subliminal samples, electronic pulses, and sax and violins threaded into the richly textured mix.

Certainly, this is the Arkells’ most eclectic album to date, from the piano-pounded, “California Love”-schooled swagger of “Private School” to the silver-lined break-up song “My Heart’s Always Yours,” the sort of ascendant, blood-pumping anthem you can easily imagine sparking an arena full of waving illuminated smartphones. But if the Arkells have mostly scrubbed away the surface soot of their Hamilton-spawned sound, lyrically, Kerman’s songwriting hits even closer to home.

“A lot of the songs are about me and characters in my life: my friends, my parents, my girlfriend,” Kerman says. “And a lot of times, they’re songs about what happened the night before. So that’s why it’s called Morning Report: you text your friend the next day and it’s like, ‘Give me the morning report!’”

But Morning Report balances tales of last night’s debauchery with more sobering examinations of a time in life that doesn’t get much play in rock music: your late-twenties. It’s the phase when all your friends start getting married, your parents suddenly decide to get divorced, and long-distance relationships hit their shit-or-get-off-the-pot breaking point. But while melancholic, meditative ballads like “Passenger Seat” and “Come Back Home” provide unflinching portraits of marriages on the brink of collapse, rousing, soul-powered sing-alongs like “A Little Rain” pay poignant tribute to the friendships that help you through the tough times, and provide that much-needed shoulder to cry on.

“That’s another thing that’s so conservative about white-guy indie rock,” says Kerman. “What makes Drake so awesome is he just puts all his emotions right on the table for you to see. All of these songs and stories come from a genuine place for me.”

The morning reports we get from our friends may arrive through smartphone screens, but the songs on Morning Report all chronicle face-to-face interactions—with all the intimacy, intensity and awkwardness they entail.

“This is our weirdest, funniest, saddest record yet,” Kerman concludes. “And therefore, our most honest one, too.”

Photos

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Media

Press

06-18-2017

Major congrats go out to Arkells for their #LongList Polaris Music Prize nomination!

05-19-2017

Arkells video for ‘Knocking At The Door’? Head to Fingers on Blast!

05-19-2017

Awesome new Hamilton site The Inlet breaks down the best local music of 2017 so far. Arkells, Adrian Underhill, DAVIDS, and Billy Moon make the cut!

05-03-2017

FYI Music News has all the details about the new Arkells single!

04-22-2017

Watch the new Arkells video for ‘Knocking At The Door’ at Exclaim!

04-22-2017

New Arkells single! Find out more at The Spill Magazine.

02-27-2017

Wonderful review of Arkells stop in Halifax by Canadian Beats!

02-27-2017

Arkells on NPR Music’s World Cafe!

02-21-2017

Photogmusic caught up with Arkells in Ottawa last night!

02-19-2017

Head to PureGrainAudio.com for their review + photos of Arkells in Vancouver!

02-19-2017

Big congrats to The Dirty Nil, Arkells, and Blitz//Berlin on their nominations for the 2017 The JUNO Awards!

02-19-2017

An excellent interview with Max from Arkells at Dusty Organ!

02-19-2017

Arkells and Darcys team up with a remix of ‘My Heart’s Always Yours’. Exclaim! premieres!

02-19-2017

Great interview with Arkells at Daily Hive Vancouver!

01-31-2017

Check out some photos of Arkells in Chicago at Aesthetic Magazine.

01-09-2017

Arkells ‘Morning Report’ one of Atwood Magazine’s top albums of 2016!

01-09-2017

Arkells ‘Morning Report’ one of CBC Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite albums of 2016!

01-09-2017

The Dirty Nil. Terra Lightfoot. Emay. Billy Moon. WTCHS. Arkells. All of which make up part of Cut From Steel’s great year end list!

01-09-2017

WTCHS, Sam Weber, and Arkells are on DOMINIONATED’s favourite records of 2016!

11-04-2016

Phenomenal review of the new Arkells record ‘Morning Report’ at Atwood Magazine!

11-04-2016

Excellent review of the new Arkells single “My Heart’s Always Yours” at SoundChips!

10-18-2016

Watch the new Arkells video at FYI Music News!

Look for the band on tour now!

10-18-2016

Indie88Toronto has all the details on the new Arkells video for ‘My Heart’s Always Yours”.

10-18-2016

Arkells have a new video! Watch ‘My Hearts Always Yours” at Exclaim!!

10-04-2016

Fantastic interview at A Music Blog, Yea? with Arkells! Go deep!

09-19-2016

Watch the new Audiotree session with Arkells now!

09-19-2016

Excellent review of the new Arkells LP ‘Morning Report’ at Fingers on Blast!

09-01-2016

The Spill Magazine gives the new Arkells record ‘Morning Report’ a perfect score.

09-01-2016

Great long form feature via AUX on Arkells latest ‘Morning Report’!

09-01-2016

PureGrainAudio.com has a 140 Character LP Review of Arkells’ Morning Report. It’s a good quick read!

08-11-2016

ESSENTIAL ALBUMS: Arkells’ Max Kerman talks to Chart Attack about music that stands the test of time, great read – check it out!

08-11-2016

Have you seen ‘Drake’s Dad’ in the latest Arkells video? Head over to PureGrainAudio.com now!

08-11-2016

CONFRONT Magazine offers up a review of Arkells’ Morning Report!

08-11-2016

Read Paste Magazine’s review of Arkells’ ‘Morning Report!

“…the hype is only just the beginning” (8/10 Review)

08-11-2016

Check out SlowCity Magazine’s piece on Arkells’ ‘Morning Report’!

08-11-2016

Great review of Arkells 4th record ‘Morning Report’ at Canadian Beats. Out now!!

08-11-2016

Big congrats to Arkells on their album release day! Grab ‘Morning Report’ now and read more about it at Indie Underground.

08-11-2016

Phenomenal review of the new Arkells album at The Daily Listening!

‘Morning Report’ is out tomorrow!

08-11-2016

Incredible roundtable review of the new Arkells record at The Paper Street Journal!

08-11-2016

Fantastic review of the new Arkells record over at Exclaim!. ‘Morning Report’ out this friday!

08-10-2016

Have you watched Arkells video for ‘Drake’s Dad’ yet?

Catch up on Indie88Toronto!

08-10-2016

Arkells new album one of CBC Music’s albums you need to hear in August. Out this Friday!

“On Morning Report, all their influences come together — rock, soul, gospel and pop — from the opening notes of the Memphis-tinged “Drake’s Dad” to the somber closing piano ballad “Hangs the Moon.” It’s less a return to their Jackson Square days, and more of a look at how far they’ve come since.”  

08-10-2016

Watch the new Arkells video for ‘Drake’s Dad’ at Pigeons and Planes!

08-10-2016

And Arkells new one is up on The FADER too.

Cannot be stopped.

08-10-2016

New Arkells video for ‘Drake’s Dad’ up on Pitchfork!

08-10-2016

The new Arkells video for ‘Drake’s Dad’ premiered at Consequence of Sound today AND it features Drake’s dad.

08-09-2016

Arkells named one of the Top 10 performers at WayHome Music & Arts by Consequence of Sound!

08-09-2016

Arkells were one of the highlights at WayHome Music & Arts.

  “When the Arkells covered the Hip, you couldn’t help but think (as one concert-goer had suggested in that casual, “who are you excited for”-type festival chit-chat): are they becoming them?” – Chart Attack

08-09-2016

The Strombo Show’s session with Arkells is beyond a must listen/watch.

08-09-2016

Really fantastic interview with Max from Arkells at The Spill Magazine.

‘Morning Report’ is out August 5th!

07-13-2016

Check out this amazing session Arkells did with Paste Magazine.

1, 2, 1 Weeeeooooo!

07-05-2016

Listen to the latest Arkells track from their forthcoming album “Morning Report” at FYI Music News!

07-05-2016

Listen up! new Arkells track ‘Making Due’ can be heard at Indie is not a genre!

07-05-2016

Hear the new Arkells song ‘Making Due’ at PureGrainAudio.com!

07-05-2016

New Arkells track “Making Due” can be heard at Exclaim! now!

07-05-2016

Fantastic interview with Max from Arkells at Aesthetic Magazine!

06-16-2016

The new I Heart Hamilton Tour playlist features Arkells, The Velveteins, The Retroaction, and Jaunt!

06-09-2016

Watch the new Arkells lyric video at Dusty Organ! New LP this August!

06-09-2016

Watch the new Arkells video for “A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)” at The Daily Listening!

06-03-2016

Watch the new Arkells video for “A Little Rain” at Indie88Toronto!

06-03-2016

New Arkells lyric video for “A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)” premiered at Clash today!

New album “Morning Report” out August 5th!

05-19-2016

Listen to some new music from Arkells at The Paper Street Journal!

05-19-2016

Watch the new Arkells video for ‘Private School’ at PureGrainAudio.com!

05-12-2016

New Arkells video for ‘Private School’ is up on SheWolf Radio!

New album “Morning Report” out August 5th!

05-12-2016

A new Arkells record is coming this summer! Find out all the details at Aesthetic Magazine and listen to new single “Private School”!

05-12-2016

New music from Arkells and AlphaCub on this week’s ‘New Music From The Inbox’ at Alan Cross Official.

05-12-2016

Arkells have a new record coming this August! The Spill Magazine has all the details!

+ New video for “Private School”.

05-12-2016

Exclaim! has all the details on the new Arkells record “Morning Report”.

Watch new video for single “Private School” now!

05-12-2016

PREMIERE! New Arkells video and single streaming exclusively at The FADER!

New album ‘Morning Report’ out August 5th!

09-02-2015

Congratulations Arkells on your first Gold Record, CBC has the details!

08-25-2015

Arkells have a new video for 11:11 on MUCH!

08-18-2015

Canadian Beats interviews Max from the Arkells.

Scandalous!

07-15-2015

Pick Your Poison with the Arkells cover of Tobias Jesso Jr at Faronheit.

07-15-2015

Hear Arkells cover Tobias Jesso Jr. at Exclaim!

….cup of coffee in hand.

07-15-2015

Indie88Toronto features the new Arkells cover of Tobias Jesso Jr.

Hear the “Arkellian (going to have to use that one more often) treatment” of “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”.

07-15-2015

LISTEN to Arkells cover “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” on CONFRONT Magazine.

07-15-2015

Extreme Nonchalance has the new Arkells cover of Tobias Jesso Jr.

Heard Arkells cover of Tobias Jesso Jr. yet? Extreme Nonchalancehas YOU covered with some very kind praise.

07-15-2015

Head over to Aesthetic Magazine Toronto to hear Arkells cover Tobias Jesso Jr.!

07-15-2015

Arkells cover Tobias Jesso Jr. – Canadian Beats has the details and tour dates.

Arkells released a pretty cool cover of Tobias Jesso Jr.‘s “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” today. Head to Canadian Beats for the details + tour dates!

07-15-2015

Congrats to Arkells on their long-list Polaris Music Prize nomination for “High Noon”!

Arkells make long-list Polaris Music Prize nomination for “High Noon”!

06-17-2015

Check out Aesthetic Magazine Toronto’s shots of Day 1, featuring Arkells!

Couldn’t go to Field Trip this year?

05-15-2015

Arkells premiere the last video from their Southern Souls session at Gigwise

Watch it here!

05-01-2015

Max from Arkells answers all the tough questions at Southern Souls

04-23-2015

New Arkells video with Southern Souls premiered at Clash yesterday.

Watch their “orchestral version” of ‘Systematic’.

04-17-2015

CBC Hamilton has the highlights of yesterdays Arkells AMA

“…keep on grinning and pray to god.”  

04-03-2015

New Arkells video getting the vevo premiere today.

All sales from this single are going to the charity Partners In Health Canada. Find it on itunes now!

03-21-2015

Arkells performing at this years Juno Awards with Boris Brott and The National Academy Orchestra.

Watch the performance here!

03-21-2015

Arkells win Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year at the Jono’s

Huge congrats to our good friends in the Arkells for winning both “Group of the Year” and “Rock Album of the Year” at this year’s Juno Awards. YES!!!

03-13-2015

Arkells played Elora Ice Fest last week.

Look at the steam! Photos courtesy of Aesthetic Magazine Toronto

03-06-2015

Max from the Arkells sat down with IMVERYAPE before their show in Calgary last week.

Some great insight into the band’s growth, and evolution as songwriters.

03-06-2015

Arkells at Union Hall on A Music Blog, Yea?

Arkells are still on tour, making their way across Canada. Look at some excellent photos from their stop in Edmonton via A Music Blog, Yea?

01-28-2015

ARKELLS GARNER TWO JUNO NOMINATIONS

Indie-rock darlings Arkells lead the pack with nominations for group of the year and rock album of the year on the back of the band’s newest album, High Noon.