Canadian music runs as full a gamut as American, British, or anywhere, and that very much includes todays electro-dance, such as Arkells. Following up on last year’s Blink Once (QRO review) with this year’s Blink Twice, the band delivers more catchy up-sounds and great team-ups.
There is a distinct ‘up with life’ thread to Twice, from opener “Reckoning” to the indie-soul of the following “Past Life” – the latter of which features Cold War Kids, and is very much in the guest’s style. There are a number of guest contributors on Twice, not a surprise after Arkells Once recruited K.Flay for “You Can Get It” (QRO review). The best is naturally Arkells’ countrywomen Tegan & Sara with the beautiful & touching heartbreak break-up of “Teenage Tears”, though it is a bit of an outlier in going truly sad. More fitting is the ‘let’s not break up’ energy of “Take Back Everything” – Arkells even go into Springsteen-esque hope (or Bleachers-esque for the kids), sax from E Street Band’s Jake Clemons included, with “Nowhere To Go”.
While perhaps more inside the mainstream and not as alt-inspired as Yanks like to think of Canada as, Blink Twice is more fun electro-pop from north of the border.