#POPULARPLAY: The Elwins
Nov 1, 2020
It’s time to crank out the cozy tunes because The Elwins are back with their fourth album, IV! This includes their all-new single “Hung Up” and this time they’ve got crystals. The indie rock band’s new music video has them creeping through cult customs in a cabin in the woods.
Making up the cast for this funky four-piece, we have members Matthew Sweeney (singer/guitarist), Travis Stokl (drummer), Frankie Figliomeni (bassist/singer) and Feurd (guitarist/keyboardist).
The ensemble has been making memorable music for over a decade, dominating the Candian indie rock scene. The band’s single “Hey! Ya You” from their album Beauty Community charted for nine months in the Top 40, peaking at #6 for radio in Canada. Their music has earned syncs with the likes of Volkswagen, Apple, and T-Mobile.
A recognizable talent, The Elwins were nominated for “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the Juno Awards, a Canadian decoration comparable to the Grammys. They’ve toured with acts like Passion Pit, Cold War Kids, Born Ruffians, and Dashboard Confessional.
“Hung Up” marks their third single this year, and the track has The Elwins exploring feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem following a failed love interest. The relatable lyrics will have listeners forging ahead with a story of survival and trying to regain confidence.
The band’s friend Wyatt Clough (the mastermind behind all their videos) brainstormed the idea of incorporating cult practice in the music video for “Hung Up.” After a day and a half of filming, the result is a unique visual, with members embarking on the concepts by experimenting with crystals and familiarizing themselves with the astral plane.
The album’s new collection of songs are self-produced by the band, weaving influences of the distinctive 70s pop melodies to the turn of the century alternative sound the band is known for. IV shows off The Elwins’s charm in their collective charisma with a track list that smoothly slips through speakers.
1. How does this LP differ from your previous three releases?
It kind of ended up being a return to the way we operated when we started the band. We spent a lot more time playing the songs just the 4 of us in the jam space rather than going into the studio and doing a lot of the writing there. We wanted to be really confident in the way the songs sounded in that situation before going in and adding a whole bunch of bells and whistles. Lyrically and thematically it’s a lot more raw and personal and touches on the personal struggles and experiences of us as a band and individuals.
2. When you initially created the concept, what made you settle on anti-fragile?
Actually we started working with anti-fragile in a really cool and organic way. We had already finished the album and had self-released a few singles when they reached out to us. One of the songs had been recommended to them on Spotify and then they got in touch. We chatted and ended up working together.
3. What is something that you want fans to take from this new record?
I think a nice takeaway would be that if you’re struggling or having a hard time with something that you’re not alone – that we’ve also been there and that things will get better :)
4. You’ve been on tour with Cold War Kids, Born Ruffians, and Tokyo Police Club. What are some things you learned while on tour?
Touring is definitely a huge learning experience. It can be stressful at first as you learn the ropes but then you learn that you can handle a lot more than you think you can and it’s best to just relax and enjoy it! I think that applies to a lot of other things in life as well – seems scary at first but after you’ve done it you realize it was no big thing.
5. If you were touring right now, what cities or venues would you be looking most forward to?
Definitely looking forward to touring! We would be very excited for a hometown show in Toronto and some other standouts would be Franz Mehlhose in Erfurt, Germany and hopefully going back to Japan asap.
6. How has your music process and writing changed from when you started, and what things do you focus on most with respect to your brand or image and music that make up you as a music artist?
On this album we really tried to write music that excited us and we felt scratched our artistic itch. There have been times in the past where we wrote with more intention something we thought could be popular or do well but we tried to throw that away and just bring out the best in each of us as musicians and writers. I think that’s why this album is a lot more personal and intimate. We were just trying to chase what was exciting to us.
7. Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
Most people don’t know that my dad and I have the same curly moustache but it’s really great when we go around in public together. And Matthew and Travis had a band previous to The Elwins called Nulli Secundus that had a DJ in it.
You can listen to IV below! Don’t forget to follow them all over social media: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.