Calgary Rockers THE WANDERING OFF Captures Attention With “Hey There”
“Hey There” Spotify and YouTube
Calgary, Alberta duo The Wandering Off are set to capture your attention with “Hey There,” the first single off their 12-track self-titled debut album.
It’s an upbeat blast of catchy, grungy, 90s inspired rock with crunchy guitars, melodic hooks and memorable vocal melodies that wears the subtle influence of bands like Garbage and Letters to Cleo on its sleeve. “Hey There” celebrates the beauty of imperfection, the art of not worrying about the mistakes you’ve made, because after all, as Emily Corner sings, you “Can’t please ‘em all, cuz when you jump you fall.”
Their sound is at once familiar and nostalgic as well as fresh and new. Like finding a brand-new sweater styled along classic lines, The Wandering Off combines comfort and excitement in one neat, chiming package, with catchy vocal melodies to boot.
Emily is joined in The Wandering Off by her husband of almost 10 years, Kyle Corner. Both veterans of the music industry, they got engaged in Las Vegas while they were working on the production side of things during Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Fair revival tour.
The 12 original songs on the album came together at the new home studio Emily and Kyle installed during the pandemic. While holding down full-time jobs, the couple built the tracks in chunks after work when their young children were asleep or with babysitters.
The bonus of this,” Kyle says, “is that we couldn’t get things too perfect. We hope we captured a lot of raw emotion on the record.”
Some of Emily’s lyrics take on the challenges she faced during the pandemic. Forced to fight COVID twice close together, she experienced chronic pain, cognitive issues and fatigue that forced her to stop working for a while.
“I had burnt myself out so bad,” says Emily. “And our dog Simon died. It was such a surge of emotion that needed somewhere to go. My writing exploded and it felt like the catalyst for most of the record.”
Kyle had his own mental health struggles, brought about by a series of concussions that forced the former member of a screamo band (don’t ask!) to put his guitar aside for a long time. With Emily’s help, he was able to once again pick up his axe and find his creativity.
“The first song on our record, Knick of Time is all about that,” he says. “I went through a particularly bad period with my mental health and Em was there through it all, fixing my brain.”
With Kyle back on guitar, the pair found their sound by stripping things back to the basics, while looking to favourites such as Gin Blossoms, Metric, Third Eye Blind and Weezer for inspiration.
When the songs were ready the pair enlisted the help of sound wizard and mixing engineer Warne Livesey (Matt Good, Midnight Oil, 54-40, Sinéad O’Connor, Holly McNarland). Livesey polished the record to completion, bringing in Blake Manning to lay down drums at Toronto’s Noble Street Studios.
But it’s not too polished. The entire album maintains the raw feel Emily and Kyle hit upon as they were sequestered in the studio. They chose to keep a lot of those demo vocals and, just as she sings about in “Hey There,” they kept a level of imperfection.
“Hey There” is available on all streaming platforms on January 27. Look for The Wandering Off, the album, on March 31.