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Sam Roberts Band: Ascension

The Montreal rock favourites return with a track featuring revved-up guitar and vocals.

Sam Roberts Band: Ascension

By Kerry Doole

Sam Roberts Band - Ascension (Secret Weapon/Known Accomplice): It's been almost four years since Montreal rock favourites Sam Roberts Band released its Juno-nominated album TerraForm, so its return with a new single is a pleasing one.


In a label press release, mainman Roberts describes the track as “a call to action, very suited for the times we're living in. It is a song to motivate and climb above the chaos that surrounds us. This glittering rock song is set to inspire. 'We'll take the fight to the underground. We'll take this song to the sky!'"

The track was produced by Gus Van Go who said this about the track: "As a producer, I wanted to approach this song with a more 'punk' approach than is usually used for Sam Roberts Band's recordings. It felt right to me that the song should have a certain rawness and energy reminiscent of some of those British post-punk bands of the late 70's and early 80's, like Buzzcocks and Gang Of Four."

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The track is more aggressive in its guitar work and vocals than typical SRB material, though the comparison to those Anglo punk greats is rather a stretch. Roberts' voice remains as identifiable and appealing as ever, and the song should fit just fine on rock radio.

Of note: Ascension is the first release on the Band's own Secret Weapon label and is licensed to Known Accomplice. 

Last year, Sam Roberts kept busy in Canadian indie supergroup Anyway Gang, alongside Chris Murphy (Sloan), Menno Versteeg (Hollerado) and Dave Monks (Tokyo Police Club). That group  released a self-titled debut album that earned a #1 spot on the Canadian Alternative Charts and a #1 SOCAN award for the track Big Night (written by Roberts).

Early in the pandemic, he and his kids, under the name The Isolation Jubilation Sensation, created a performance of We're All In This Together online to celebrate front line workers. 

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Sam Roberts Band is gearing up for its first in-person concert of the year, performing as part of the Ottawa Bluesfest Drive-in concert series on Aug. 1. Tickets can be purchased here

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PR: Erin Carroll, Cadence

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Hozier Thanks OVO Arena For Clearing Up ‘Misunderstanding’ Over Fans’ ‘Free Palestine’ Scarf

The singer said his team has a "zero policy" about prohibiting sings at shows.

Hozier and the OVO Arena Wembley have apologized and responded to a fan’s complaint about an incident in December in which she was reportedly told to remove a “Free Palestine” scarf before attending one of the singer’s shows. “Thank you to OVO Arena Wembley for clearing up this misunderstanding,” Hozier wrote early Monday morning (Feb. 26) after the venue posted an apology last week to attendee Hiba Ahmad, who said in an earlier X post that she was “pulled aside and escorted to wardrobe” in December while attending a show at the venue while wearing the scarf.

“The team and I have zero policy of prohibiting signs of any kind and I’m sorry to Hiba and her friends that they experienced this at the London show,” Hozier added.

This article was first published by Billboard U.S.

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