Following the announcement of their fifth studio album, As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide, Vancouver’s Said The Whale has released lead single “Step Into The Darkness”.
As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide, out on March 31 through Hidden Pony Records, was recorded during a time of significant change. Previously a five-piece, the current trio – made up of frontmen Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester and keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown – entered the studio with no preconceptions and no concrete plan. With the help of We Are The City’s Cayne McKenzie on production duties, the finished product is Said The Whale’s most collaborative and focused album yet. Previous records highlighted the contrast between the two founders’ eclectic rock influences and salt-of-the-earth folksiness. Here, their styles merge to become one.
“Step Into The Darkness” is a great example of this new level of cohesiveness. While writing and demoing the song, Ben limited himself to only a drum loop and bass synth, which left room for creativity in the studio. The song came together organically once the band and Cayne McKenzie stepped in. Though finalizing the track was a group effort, it still remains incredibly personal and meaningful to Ben:
“Step Into The Darkness” was written after a devastating break-up with my girlfriend of six years. The song is me reaching out to comfort my love, reassuring her that she is safe and despite the immense sadness and feeling of loss, perhaps good things will come. We got back together shortly thereafter.”
It’s been ten years since the JUNO Award-winning group formed. They have now taken the project back to its freeform roots while also venturing forward into art-pop territory. Despite the album’s adventurous sonic forays, it remains true to the spirit of their classic work. At its core, As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide is a singer-songwriter record, guided by introspective lyrics and alchemical group harmonies from Ben, Tyler and Jaycelyn.