Edmonton-based, husband and wife duo, The Royal Foundry first gained industry attention back in 2015, when they won Alberta’s Peak Performance Project grand prize, and their career hasn’t slowed down since.
They’ve been CBC Searchlight finalists in 2014 and 2015, been awarded multiple Edmonton Music Awards (Group of the Year 2016, Single of the Year 2016, Music Video of the Year 2016 and Pop Single of the Year 2018), John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize winners in 2018, Canadian Songwriting Competition Grand Prize 2018, nominated for Western Canadian Music Awards Pop Artist of the Year 2018 and took home the Unsigned Only – Rock Song Grand Prize in 2018. It’s fair to say, their talent has been recognized far and wide.
In 2017, they released their debut album, Lost in Your Head, which has garnered them much success with over one million streams on Spotify, a Western Canadian Music Award nomination and led to film and TV music placements.
Their sophomore release, Wakeup Wakeup, dropped on September 27, 2019 and with it, The Royal Foundry has shown growth and maturity. Gone is the pop/alternative vibe that was heard on Lost in Your Head. With Wakeup Wakeup, you’re treated to a sophisticated, experimental sound with complex layers of melody and vocals that, in this writer’s opinion, is a far better fit for the duo.
With the release of this latest album, Bethany Schumacher and Jared Salte feel like they’ve found their footing, but say the transition in sound wasn’t really a plan. According to Bethany, “It’s been kind of a theme how we’ve been writing music. I know it doesn’t make much of a transition sense from folk to pop with our last album. But looking back, we just wrote a lot of songs, and just gravitated towards this collection. We’ve definitely matured since our last album, that was very ‘single’ driven, every song was very separate, this one feels more our identity, what we like to create overall.”
Though it’s not a concept album, in that, it’s not a collection of songs with one singular theme, it was created to listen from back to front. As Bethany explains, “We were heavily influenced by our roots. Growing up, both our parents were record collectors. So, a lot of our time spent listing to some of the iconic classic musicians were our fathers putting on records and listening to it from front to back. We’ve become record collectors ourselves, so creating this album, we wanted that feel again. I think in a world of streaming music, and it’s just single after single after single, and creating playlists of just random songs. As much as we feel it’s obviously necessary to put forth our music in single form to keep up with streaming services, to create something that we love, that’s supposed to be listened as one whole work of art that connects together was really important to us. Especially since we pressed vinyl.”
Jared added, “This album for us just felt like we hit our stride with finding that balance, knowing how to work with each other, know how to critique each other without putting the other down, it felt like that perfect flow.”
When it comes to creating their music, the couple says the process has grown into a very collaborative experience. As Bethany explains, “When we first started writing together, I was mostly doing lyrics and Jared was mostly doing production and the music side of things. But over the years, I’ve learned a lot with the production side of things, and vice versa, Jared is a good poet, he writes really well. It is a very interesting aspect of things, because in the beginning of our marriage, we found it very difficult, because it is different when you’re married to that person because you’re a lot more sensitive. When you want to write something that pleases the other person, and when that doesn’t happen, it can probably hurt. We’ve been married long enough, we understand each other. We know how about going about criticizing things. I think that’s why we kind of hit our stride with this last album, because we’ve been working together for so long. I think that’s why this album feels like just one piece of art.”
The Royal Foundry has just wrapped up a month-long Canadian tour, taking them from BC through to Ontario, in support of Wakeup Wakeup, but if you missed them, don’t worry. This duo has over seven Canadian tours under their belt, and I’m sure there will be more late this year or into 2020.
Visit http://www.theroyalfoundry.com to pick up your copy of Wakeup Wakeup today!