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Campfire Chords Is Here

We’re always trying to interact with the world in a way that feels true to us. When quarantine sent us home, the world got a little more quiet. In 2020, a lot of the music that brought us comfort was a little more tender, a little more sweet.  

We’ve always had to make our luck. If there’s an ethos to our band it’s that if we’re putting in good and honest work, one thing will lead to another and we’ll have something to show for it.  We’re always building on the last thing we did.

The path to Campfire Chords looked like this: Quarantine -> #FlattenTheCurveMusicClass, teaching Arkellians how to play our songs acoustically -> Fans demanding acoustic versions of these recordings -> Recording Years In The Making acoustically at home -> 3-4 months of recording from home = Campfire Chords. But none of these things happen without the thing before it. And to us, it’s a beautiful thing to know that everything is connected. 

We’ve never had time to make an “acoustic record” because we were too busy playing shows and focusing on new music. But we also knew that they felt really good to play in a stripped back way. All of our big rocknroll songs start with an acoustic or piano, so heading back to that place isn’t too much of a stretch. Finding the right “rhythm” for the stripped back arrangements is usually the trick, and there were a few songs that proved to be harder to get comfortable with. We scrapped American Screams for that reason. We wanted a healthy mix of our bigger songs and deep cuts. Songs that would be fun to listen to around the campfire, or in your back yard, or at a park. We added some lost verses to I’m Not The Sun and Whistleblower that never made the original version.

We also wrote a new song for the record, Quitting You, and it’s been amazing to see all the covers pour in for the #ArkellsQuittingYou challenge. The beauty of all the songs is that at their core, they’re simple songs. So if you’re inspired, we’d love to see your cover!

All of this is to say, Campfire Chords was a joy to make and we can’t wait for you to hear it. Being a part of your lives is the best part of being in a band, so whether you’re covering one of these songs, or jamming to it around the campfire, let us know! 

It’ll keep us connected with you until we see each other in real life again.

Enjoy!

Max, Mike, Tony, Tim, Nick

Quitting You + Campfire Chords

While we were knee-deep working on our next album in Eagle Rock, the quarantine forced the band to take 4 months physically apart – the longest we’ve ever spent off the road and out of each others (sweet) faces. The world looks a lot different in 2020, and we had to adapt, but that was OK: we’re a band that’s always found a way to make it work. Beyond the biggest shows, we’ve played in tiny bars, house parties, backyards, so our time at home presented a new path. 

Creatively we went back to our roots, reimagining versions of some of our most beloved songs for a new project. From our bedrooms – and occasionally waving at my neighbour Mike at his window – we began to reinterpret past material for a new project, thematically titled Campfire Chords. We shipped off the parts to Tony to arrange, manage, and make sense of, and after three months of his tinkering, we had something that felt new and fresh and exciting.

We began the recording with the goal to rediscover the singer songwriter spirit that has long informed our most trademark sing-a-longs. These remote sessions inspired our new single, Quitting You – an intimate song about finding comfort in the people closest to you. 

“Does it pass the campfire test?” is a question the band often asks themselves while working on new music. If a song can be stripped to its core and be sung around a campfire, then we know we’re on our way. It’s been a treat to finally put together a full length presentation of this side of our music for the first time. 

While we haven’t had concerts lately, we still have music in the kitchen, parks, backyards, docks, and campfires. With songs about the essentials in life – love, friendship, community, and optimism. Here’s to Campfire Chords feeling like an old friend here to keep you company. + a new banger cause you’re going to love Quitting You. 

Xo Max, Mike, Tony, Tim, Nick

The Rally UPDATE – See you June 19 2021!

Fam!

The Rally is our crown jewel, because we labour over every detail so we can make our hometown PROUD.

From the weekend it takes place, to the type of stage and production we want to use, the line-up – these are all decisions that we discuss for months before the show is even announced. The Rally is LITERALLY years in the making.

Now, we are lucky that we get to negotiate with everyone we’re working with. We’re lucky that all of our collaborators are incredible partners. They also want to make The Rally the best experience for you.

Unfortunately for us, COVID-19 does not negotiate. That guy is not reasonable. And frankly, has been very unhelpful lately.

This is why RALLY HQ is working overtime to postpone The Rally for next summer – on Saturday June 19 2021.

And we’re still planning to make it THE BEST ONE YET. What keeps us going is that feeling we’ll all get to share when we’re all together again.

The week the show went on sale, we sold more tickets than the inaugural Rally. And we hope that everyone who can, will hold on to their tickets for our new date.

All of the current tix for The Rally are valid for our new date. All ticket info can be found at your point of purchase and has been automatically emailed to ticketholders.

We are keeping BUSY. Lots is on the go. Can’t wait to rock with you. Be good!

Xo
Arkells

To the Class of 2020!

Hey gang,

Hope everyone is keeping well. We’re staying busy, and trying our best to keep spirits high from home.

Arkells heard that some 2020 grads have been using our song Years In The Making – which is a song about putting in the WORK – to commemorate their accomplishments at school. We’re feeling for all the new grads out there that are missing out on their end of year celebration with their family and friends. As part of Canada’s multi network “Stronger Together” broadcast – a massive fundraising effort in support of Food Banks Canada – Arkells wanted to honour grads through the story of shining star (and Arkells fan!), Ava Harrison, who’s finishing her degree this spring and just wrote her final exam. Following an elaborate rouse with her family, we wanted to surprise her with a serenade. Hear about her story and see the video here.

Huge love to all the grads out there. This song’s for you too.

To further get you grads in the spirit, we made a little Spotify playlist for you with some jams that celebrate your moment and your friends.

To the class of 2020! Congratulations.

xo
Arkells

Arkells x YMCA

Hey gang,

As we’re at home practicing social distancing, we’ve found it helpful to think about how we can be useful to our community. If for no other reason than it feels good to help! Everyone has a different version of lending a hand, and we thought about our neighbourhood YMCA, and the good work they do.

I’m a proud member of the Y. I use their facilities when I’m at home and when we’re on tour. It’s a place where I can feel connected to every corner of the community. Everyone is an equal at the Y, and we’re proud to support a place that cares for our most vulnerable neighbours.

So we’ve launched an Arkells x YMCA throwback t-shirt (designed by our very own Mike D!) with all of the proceeds going to the Y’s newly launched virtual programming. You can learn all about it at YWeAreHere.ca. Their virtual programs and lessons are free to everyone – not just members. The Tee is available at YWeAreHere.ca and on our site here.

There are so many great organizations out there looking for support right now, so if you have something within you to give, I recommend it. The best part of my day is when I feel connected to my community.

Xo
Max, Mike, Nick, Tony, Tim

Years In The Making: Together x Apart

Hey Gang,
Hope you’re keeping well. We’re physically separated right now, but we’re always together in music. 

Right now, we’re trying to be useful in our own small ways and find some comfort in things that make us feel good. Making and sharing music has always provided that comfort.  

We recorded this acoustic version of Years In The Making at home in our own little makeshift studios, but the heart and feeling of connection is there more than ever.  And that’s always been the most important part. 

Enjoy it now. The chords and lyrics are here if you want to play along. 
We’re hanging every day at 1-2pm EST on our Instagram Live for our “Flatten The Curve Music Class.” The more the merrier, so come join.

xo
Arkells

Flatten The Curve Music Class

Hey gang, 
Hope everyone is hanging in there and being good to themselves.
Every day I’ve been trying my best to be mindful of the things that make me feel deeply good, and identify the stressors that are hard on my system. And then I do my best to find productive remedies.

One of the things that has kept my spirits up is our daily hang on Instagram Live, for Arkells’ Flatten The Curve Music Class. If you’ve yet to catch it, every day at 1 PM EST the @arkellmusic IG Live features a song lesson of the day, Q+A’s, interactive lessons, special guests and more. We encourage anyone tuning in to bring an instrument of any stripe and your best self to this online hang; while staying home and practicing social distance. Thanks for sharing your company, your stories, and the music. It’s all a gift. 

In this collective moment, there are two central questions I’ve been trying to focus on. #1  – How do we show love and support for all the people who need it most? Namely, the front line workers, and our neighbours who are in tough right now. And #2 – How do we upkeep our own sense of well being? What are the things during the day that offer some focus and sense of purpose?  If not only for ourselves, but to be sharp and purposeful to best help with item #1.

So here’s a nugget of an idea that can help both questions: We heard Food Banks Canada needs money right now. We saw that RBC has made a substantial donation to Food Banks Canada as part of their current commitment to COVID-19 community response efforts. We know that music has a healing power and brings people together. So let’s combines these ideas.

Let’s continue to stay home and meet online for our FTC Music Class each day. Arkells want to see your best song covers, originals, dance routines, blazing solos: it’s all on the board. Share them – let’s see what you got, and Arkells will re-share their favourite submissions. 

For every creative submission you share with the hashtag #FTCMusicClass, RBC will donate $100 to Food Banks Canada, up to $25,000. Arkells want to see your best song covers, originals, dance routines, blazing solos: it’s all on the board. Just tag us and throw up #FTCMusicClass so we can find it and check out what you got! Arkells will re-share their favourite submissions. Let’s raise $25,000 this week, for people that need it, while staying inside.

*WEEK 2 UPDATE* We’ve reached our goal and we’re going for $50,000 total for Food Banks Canada.

We make music together, and help flatten the curve by staying inside and being creative together. Thank you for your support of Food Banks Canada  an organization helping to provide for some of our neighbours who need it most. 

xo
Max

Years In The Making

2020 – we made it.

We’ve been busy boys, poking around the corners, being delighted by new experiences, and then putting those ideas in to songs.

I know some of y’all have been bummed out by the of state affairs on planet earth and I get it (I get down too). But a wise dude once told me: “if you’re ever feeling lost, come back to the work, and you’ll always have a path.”

In a funny way, that’s what our new song is about.

It’s called Years In The Making. We hope it lifts you up.

The song was born from the idea – or, the desire – to give value to every past experience. Seize the moments and grow from them. Even the tough ones… because it’s those hard times that give you the flavour and the grit that make you who you are today.

If you keep at it, and you surround yourself with good people, good things will come your way. Even my beloved Toronto Raptors won a championship. Or you got into that program you applied for. Or you completed 10 pushups. Whatever your goal is, you gotta keep pushing.

Learning to rely on these muscles has been years the making – the muscles that are the desire to keep pushing and asking the right questions.

All the hard work leads to the good stuff. And there ain’t no time like the present to shoot your shot.

So giddy up! Arkells are back. Years In The Making. 2020. Let’s go.

XO
Max, Nick, Mike, Tim, Anthony

LFG 2020

Arkellian babies,

How are we doing? Hope 2020’s been good to you so far.
We’ve been in good spirits.

Tony’s been doing yoga, and trying to not get so mad at the news. He keeps muttering to himself “mindfulness is the way.” We’re happy for him.

Nick continues his monk-ly lifestyle. It’s very annoying to the rest of us heathens: he wants for nothing, doesn’t spend a dime on frivolous stuff and is always volunteering.
Tim’s still getting over the Bills losing in the playoffs, and we keep telling him there’s always next year.

Mike’s spending a lot of time at home with his kitty. He’s truly a “cat guy.”
Manager Ash and I have been riding Mike to finish some important Arkells design work that we’ll discuss with you later.

I know it feels quiet over here in Arkells world, but trust every time you tweet “Um, when are you coming to the UK?” Or “What are your summer summer plans” we see it, and we’re grinning, and we’re planning fun things.

For now, the only thing we ask of you is: be nice to strangers, and subscribe to your local paper. And then we can wear matching tee’s. And who doesn’t love to twin with me?

Be good!

Max

Summer is HERE

Photo Cred: Nathan Nash

 

Hey gang,
 
That third weekend in June has become a pretty special time of year for our camp, and this year did not disappoint. We’re still buzzing from the show last weekend at Budweiser Stage. In case you missed it, Toronto Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse joined us on stage for a tune. We also did a full set of our favourite classic soul songs. And the weather was perfect.
 
I’ve ran into a bunch of people who were up on the lawns for the show, and all the reports indicate that it was a full rager up there. Love to hear that.
 
We’ve also announced a slew of awesome new shows for the rest of 2019. They include headline shows in Canada this fall (ARENAS!) summer festival dates and headline shows in Europe and the US, and a few other things we can’t tell you about yet! Keep checking the tour page.
 
Last thing: we have the best job in the world, and it’s because *you* seem to care. So thanks for sharing these moments with us.
 
Xo
Max, Nick, Mike, Tim, Anthony