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The Royal Streets in harmony on their latest album

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Royal StreetsThe Royal Streets can be described in one word: harmony.

Harmony between musicians on stage, fluid songwriting and solid friendships. Even during their interview with The Scene, band members–who have known each other since grade school–were in perfect sync, finishing each other’s sentences as they excitedly explained their upcoming album, Kings and Queens.

“You’re getting five different mindsets in it, you know?” Singer and guitarist Al Friolet said. “There’s not one person saying how something should go in any way at all, so it makes it super comfortable.”

For guitarist Eric Stirtzinger, who recently left his studies at the University of Ottawa to focus on the band, this seamless collaboration makes for a solid record. “We’re not going over the top. We’re not distorting our guitars up to crazy amounts, there’s no crazy solos. It’s just this organic feeling of five different musicians playing their parts together well. And then these two voices that are just melodic and fit together on top and blend very well. It’s a nice full circle thing.”

Do not be fooled by these folksy elements, with the addition of drummer Sam Keating and the production magic of Catherine North Studios, The Royal Streets’ upcoming album promises to be pretty rock n’ roll.

“There’s still an acoustic root, there’s still catchy folky melodies, some good acoustic chording,” said Stirtzinger (aka “Stritzy”). “But…we’ve developed it into a bigger sound, a more rocky sound.”

It’s harmony you can party to, plain and simple. For a taste, just check out the band’s latest single, “Some Think.”

If you dig the single, you are in good company. The young band has already garnered attention from CBC Music, played with the likes of Said the Whale and Juno nominated July Talk, and received major support from their constantly growing fan base. An incredible 129 people lined up to back the Indiegogo campaign for Kings and Queens, contributing almost $7500 to the project.

For vocalist Jillian Dowding, the response was overwhelming. “I was worried that we weren’t going to hit our goal. I was like, ‘five thousand dollars is a lot [to raise] in three months. We’re probably going to get a thousand, two if we’re lucky.’” 

Thankfully, fans proved her wrong. The Royal Streets hit their $5000 funding goal only a week into their campaign. The band is confident that Kings and Queens will be a hit with loyal supporters and new fans alike.

As they prepare for the March 6 release, The Royal Streets are dreaming big and–yes, I’ll say it again, harmoniously. The five members are all excited for the opportunity to make an impact on their listeners and share their new sound with the world.

“Anybody that loves music, they use it to help them through hard times, happy times, anything,” Dowding explained. “One thing that was definitely my goal was that if anybody was feeling a certain feeling, they would want to put on one of our songs.  Whether it was a break up, whether it was something to celebrate. I’ve done that so many times with the bands I love. I want that to be us for someone.”

Kings and Queens is available on iTunes on March 6.

The Royal Streets will be performing at the Mercury Lounge on March 22.

Kings & Queens

Interview and words by Shauna Vert

THE SCENE