There’s something alluring about Toronto that has made it fertile ground for talented young bands in recent years. Groups such as Alvvays, Elsa and more recently Tallies have put Canada on the map as a hub of new and exciting dream-pop. A short distance away in Hamilton Ontario, a five piece led by brothers Josh and Robert Kemp are making the case for their band Capitol to join that list. Last year’s debut album Dream Noise saw the band wed shoegaze atmospherics to their post-punk influences and combined with stark black and white imagery marked a firm statement of intent. “Weathered” is their first new material since then and the artwork alone tells you this is different side of Capitol. The cover artwork features an empty chair as if someone is missing, but there’s a vibrant ray of sunshine streaming through the windows. This newfound optimism is reflected in the opening guitar notes of “Weathered” as well. All the hallmarks of Capitol‘s sound are still here, but there’s more of a hopeful yearning mood compared with much of last year’s record. The best surprise here is the addition of vocals by Charlotte Grace Victoria who brings a new dimension to this song. Her vocals provide a soft reassuring counterpoint to frontman Josh Kemp. Recording took place at Toronto’s Candle Recording Studio with Tallies’ guitarist Dylan Frankland and was Mastered by Sarah Register who’s long list of credits includes dream-pop favorites Asobi Seksu.
For my money “Weathered” is a thrilling evolution for Capitol and may be their best song yet. They’ve set themselves a high bar with Dream Noise last year, but always satisfying when bands exceed your expectations.