On December 9th, Canopies will return with ther latest album, Maximize Your Faith. The lead up to the album has seen the band getting notable press in some high-profile publications. Of the first single, Entertainment Weekly suggested listeners could “spend multiple listens peeling apart layers of instrumentation to find the nifty little flourishes woven into the mix”).
Canopies first arrived on most critic’s radars with their self-titled EP in 2011. The record combined the most accessibile moments of MGMTs first album with the brighter synth patches heard on Animal Collective’s two most recent releases. In essence, it was a sound totally steeped in the present: their influences were obvious and unabashedly current, but not in a way that detracted from the overall strength of the songwriting. Faith expands on this sonic blueprint, but takes the group to a much spacier territory, drawing from the looseness of many neo-psych acts (read: Tame Impala’s sleepy melodies and laid-back drums).
Maximize Your Faith is preceded by “The Plunderers and the Pillagers”, the album’s lead single. On the record, it’s the 3rd track and is situated between “New Memories” and “Enter Pure-Exit Pure”, two comparitively mellower songs. It’s deceptively simple, with a jerky start/stop drum beat, and a double time chorus. The lyrics have implied meaning, but it’s more about the delivery than anything else: “you’ve really got me now, let the walls they built come tumbling down”. It’s a call to arms for a generation of young people influenced by the endless freedom of choice offered by the internet.
Unfortunately, the majority of the songwriting on Faith is a little too comparable to other acts to be considered mere influence. In particular, the opening synth hook on “New Memories”, which borrows (perhaps subconsciously) from Goldfrapp’s “Train”, a massive hit for the group a decade earlier. As suggested by Alt Citizen, “Choose Yer Own Adventure” contains obvious nods to “Tomorrow Never Knows” and other Revolver-era Beatles melodies throughout much of the song. These songs can still manage to stand their own ground, but if Canopies wants to shake off their predecessors they’ll have to bury their influence a little deeper first.