In the fall of ’21, Tony sent over a Dropbox folder full of instrumental ideas. One of them was called “FrankTurnerFuckAround”. I didn’t think it sounded particularly like Frank – it sounded like Bruce Springsteen, which was just fine with me.
A few months later we were sitting backstage with Wesley and Jeremiah from The Lumineers before we performed together at The Grey Cup. People often think of them as a Denver band, but they’re actually from Jersey. We bonded with the guys talking about our favourite Springsteen songs and how we loved the last Bleachers record, and how that Jersey sound has been influential on Arkells.
A few weeks later we reached out to Wes, asking if he’d want to sing and write on the “FrankTurnerFuckAround” which was now called “Nowhere To Go”. He liked it, but didn’t love it yet. I appreciated his candor: he said that to write his verse and have an authentic connection to the material he wanted me to dig in a little more with my lyrics. I loved the challenge, and I got back with another draft.
He was in.
This is how much of the album came together: simply doing our best to piece together these songs as the world was opening up and shutting down again.
We didn’t know what do with the bridge either – a guitar solo? More lyrics? Since we were channelling Jersey, we figured we could go to the source: let’s reach out to Jake Clemons from The E Street Band. Maybe that could work? Clarence Clemons played the sax with Bruce until he passed, and Jake has since taken over the mantle from his late uncle. And dude can wail.
Jake got right to work and recorded his part from home in Montreal where he lives now. When he sent back his part we knew the song the was done.
Blink Twice is out now and it’s yours to have. Each song on the album has its own story of inception and creation.
Our Blink Once / Blink Twice project was meant to weather to storm of coming back from the pandemic. With the uncertainly of touring and the countless stops and starts, we wanted to make sure we’d have fresh music when we took it to the road; whenever that might be. It’s been a thrill to introduce these songs and to take them to a town near you. In a world of infinite options – playlists, tv shows, scrolling scrolling scrolling – a concert is a choice we make to spend real time with one another. There are not many holy places left like that kind of sanctuary! And that’s what these songs provide. A road to that experience.
See you in real life,