Canvas People release their sophomore LP, City Boy Slump this Sunday, November 27th. This is not an ironic reference to the ‘sophomore slump’ that can plague artists. Rather the title references the challenges of “adulting” and defining who you are as an individual.
“The record deals with themes of alienation” says frontman Kyle Taylor, “losing close friends, or falling out of contact with family members. Basically the everyday hidden struggles of maturing and letting go of adolescence.”
While the LP certainly speaks to these growing pains, Canvas People convey depth and maturity on the record. There’s a determination to push forward and, ultimately, an acceptance that “we all get old” in the end, as they sing on “Four Children.”
The Austin natives excel on City Boy Slump. Listeners can enjoy a healthy serving of reverberating guitar riffs, handsome harmonies, melodic arrangements, and a dash of grit.
Most noteworthy is the edge that surfaces on Taylor’s vocal delivery and candid lyrics. On the title track, anxiety takes center stage. “You’re always laying in bed cuz the traffic in your head’s got you down,” wails Taylor, “well there’s a medicine for everything, so you don’t have to feel so alone.”
I Was An Astronaut
This isolation surfaces again on lead track and single, “Astronaut.” “All my connections, all of my engines have failed” sings Taylor, as he wrestles with self-doubt. This loss of grounding is further reflected in the symbolism of the astronaut, as depicted on the album cover.
The Facts Of Life
Meanwhile on “Four Children,” the band ruminate on the shifting relationship dynamics that occur once people get married or have kids. With sweeping harmonies, swift chord changes, and a steady baseline, “Four Children” is the song the guys are the most proud of on City Boy Slump. “It kind of has everything that encapsulates Canvas People,” says Taylor. “It was a super fun track to record.”
Canvas People find inspiration from similarly honest folk and indie rockers including Dawes, Kurt Vile, My Morning Jacket, and Jim James. They’re a band that’s asking questions, seeking answers, and resolute in finding solutions.
There’s no slump happening here. Just like the brave cosmonaut, the sky is the limit for Canvas People. Suit up and enjoy the ride.