New Music from The Backstays

Category: music 230

The Backstays continue to tease their forthcoming full-length debut with the new single, Aquarius.

Matt Carter 

The Backstays continue to tease their forthcoming full-length debut Tributaries with the new single, Aquarius, out today. A lesson in restraint and dynamic control, Aquarius is a highly calculated slowburn that demonstrates The Backstays’ strength as a collective unit focused firmly on serving the song first and foremost. 

“Aquarius’ started out with just three piano parts and a beat. I knew I could build something with that, but I didn’t really plan for it to be so dystopic,” said The Backstays‘ Pete Johnston. “This person, or character, is starting to lose their humanity and succumb to pressures caused by something they’re resisting, or fighting against, all while they thought they were just biding their time.” 

A product of the times, Aquarius began to take shape at a time when the band could not come together in the studio due to health restrictions. Johnston set up a vocal booth in the closet of a spare bedroom and worked remotely with the band’s Derek Hilchie who mixed the track. 

“When our public health level switched from orange back down to yellow, we were able to get the bass and drums recorded with the band at Derek’s studio,” said Johnston. “It was a song born out of necessity in a lot of ways — everything we do is, especially now.”  

Tributaries, which was co-produced by Romesh Thavanathan (Hey Rosetta!), releases May 1.

Related: ‘No Hot Cargo’ gives a nod to Saint John’s political demonstrators, past and present.


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